When witnesses turn hostile

The  acquittal of Swami Aseemanand and three other accused in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case is bound to disappoint the family members of the victims.

Published: 23rd March 2019 04:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 23rd March 2019 03:13 AM   |  A+A-

The  acquittal of Swami Aseemanand and three other accused in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case is bound to disappoint the family members of the victims.  The court said the National Investigation Agency had failed to “establish any of the charges against the accused” in  the blast in which 68 people, including 44 Pakistani citizens, died. This is the third high-profile case in which the NIA has failed to convict Aseemanand, whose real name is Naba Kumar Sarkar.

The other cases in which he was named are the Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif blast cases. In all of them the court rapped India’s premier terror investigating agency for having failed to do due diligence. A retired IPS officer of the Haryana Police had gone on record saying the cops had traced the bags that possibly contained the bombs used to trigger the Samjhauta Express blast. But the NIA, after it took over the probe from the Haryana Police, failed to take cognisance of that piece of evidence. In the Malegaon serial blasts case, the then special public prosecutor Rohini Salian had alleged in 2015 that the NIA had told her to go soft in the case. Salian was later dropped as the prosecutor.

The NIA, created a year after the 2008 Mumbai terror attack, prides itself on its professionalism. Early last year, it claimed its conviction rate since its inception was a whopping 95 per cent. It’s this reputation that is at stake, as court after court raps it on its knuckles for shoddy probe in a series of high profile cases. The acquittal in the Samjhauta case also brings into focus the problem of witnesses turning hostile. The case fell apart as many witnesses recanted during trial. The same happened in the Mecca Masjid and Ajmer Sharif cases, leading to Aseemanand’s acquittal.

In the Asaram Bapu rape case, three witnesses were killed and many others threatened by the godman’s henchmen. The SC has since approved a witness protection scheme and the Centre, states and union territories must ensure that it is enforced in letter and spirit.

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Comments(19)

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  • Kalyani

    In case of Asaram Bapu all witnesses statement was recorded already infront of court. Then in this situation any harm to them will go against him. Its common sense
    7 months ago reply
  • Balaji

    You are looking at one side only.
    7 months ago reply
  • Vishvesh Shrivastav

    His case is entirely bogus
    7 months ago reply
  • Poonam

    Completely Bogus & Baseless article ! What is meaning to release such post which is defaming any religion & defaming innocent Hindu saints ?? Sant Shri Asaram Bapu Ji is tormented for the deed which never happened.There is neither charges of rape in FIR nor a single medical evidence. Now
    7 months ago reply
  • Neha

    Those were witnesses
    7 months ago reply
  • Ritu

    Bogus case against hindu sant
    7 months ago reply
  • Suman Dhingra

    Judiciary ignored the documents which were in favour of Sant Shri Asaram Bapu Ji
    7 months ago reply
  • Suman Dhingra

    Judiciary ignored the documents favouring Sant Shri Asaram Bapu Ji.
    7 months ago reply
  • Amarnath Chauhan

    People does not have faith in Indian judiciary system because every politician
    7 months ago reply
  • Amarnath Chauhan

    People does not have faith in Indian judiciary system because every actors
    7 months ago reply
  • Jaydeep

    Hindu saint sree asharamji bapu par rap ka ilzam jutha he jo fir me bhi nahi darj he sabit nahi hua phir bail kyon nahi ???
    7 months ago reply
  • Narendra

    The case on Sant Shri Asaram Bapu Ji is totally fabricated. There is a big conspiracy
    7 months ago reply
  • Amarnath

    It's a conspiracy to defame hindu saints so that non-hindu organisation can freely do religious conversions.
    7 months ago reply
  • Umakant Jadhav

    ???? Rapist Bishop Franco is set free even after Brutally raping 13 times. ???? Multiple Defaulter Imam Bukhari is not being arrested. ???? Innocent Asaram Bapu Ji is in jail without any proof. Is this the Law? #DemandJusticeForAsaramBapuJi
    7 months ago reply
  • Riya

    All proofs are in favour of sant shri Asaram Bapu Ji.. despite he is suffering in jail in this age.
    7 months ago reply
  • Brajesh Kumar

    Swami Aseemanand Ji was completely innocent
    7 months ago reply
  • Sarika Shukla

    The Bail is not passes for the Innocents. But it passes for many criminals.
    7 months ago reply
  • Ketan Patel

    Why to defame INNOCENT Saints just for the sake of TRP? In Asaram Bapu Ji's case
    7 months ago reply
  • Narayan Singh Rawat

    DCP Ajay Pal Lamba accepted in press Conference that this is not a rape case also no rape is mentioned in FIR.Still convicting Sant Shri Asaram Bapu Ji and awarding life imprisonment in a bogus case isn't Justice.
    7 months ago reply
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