NEW DELHI: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the 2007 Samjhauta Express bombings will not challenge the conditional bail granted to main accused Swami Aseemanand by Punjab and Haryana High Court on August 28, 2014.
The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday informed Parliament that the anti-terror agency had examined the feasibility of filing Special Leave Petition (SLP) and decided that there were no grounds to challenge the order in the Supreme Court.
Around 68 people, including Pakistani nationals, were killed on February 18, 2007, when bombs went off in two carriages of the Samjhauta Express near Panipat.
In 2010, the NIA had claimed that Aseemanand was the mastermind of the blast and he was charged along with other accused, including Sunil Joshi, Ramchandra Kalsangra, Sandeep Dange and Lokesh Sharmaand Kamal Chauhan, in June 2011 for the twin blasts.
Pakistan had raised the issue on several occasions demanding expeditious trial in the case.
In a written reply, MoS Home Affairs Haribhai Parathibhai Chaudhary said though the bail was allowed to Aseemanand on August 28 last year, the certified copy of the said order was issued by the court only on May 1, this year.
“The NIA examined the feasibility of filing a SLP and decided that there were no grounds to challenge the order in the Supreme Court. However, Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Aseemanand continues to remain in jail since he did not comply with the conditions of bail specified in order dated August 28, 2014,” the minister said.
But what is more revealing is that the erstwhile UPA Government which had coined “Hindu terrorism” as claimed by Home Minister Rajnath Singh, too had decided not to challenge the bail order of the Mecca Masjid blast accused.
In a written reply the MHA said, “The government did not find it fit to challenge the order dated 21.3.2014, whereby bail was granted to the two accused in Mecca Masjid blast case of May 2007 viz Devender Gupta and Lokesh Sharma, on grounds of parity since the order dated 3.6.2012 and 27.6.2013 whereby bail was granted to Bharat Mohan Lal alias Bharat Bhai and Tejaram Parmar had not been challenged by the prosecution.”
The fact counters the Congress’s claims which had earlier criticised the Centre for influencing the trial in cases related to Samjhauta and Ajmer blast.