HYDERABAD: Questioning the NIA’s probe and choice of the prosecutor, Hyderabad MP and MIM supremo Asaduddin Owaisi has been raising demands for a retrial in the case. But is such a retrial possible? While a provision under the Indian Evidence Act, 1872, states that a retrial can be sought, if evidence added or removed, would change the verdict, a majority of legal experts said that it comes with a lot of strings attached. There are several reasons why the process of retrial is not only difficult, but is close to impossible, they stated. Satya Prasad Appari, a senior advocate at the High Court, said that retrial cannot be taken up suo motu by court.
“A judgement cannot be revoked. Only when any of the affected parties - victims, NIA, the State government, or someone on their behalf take appeal to a higher court, in this case the High Court, and during its hearing, if they see any lapses in the investigation, can order for a retrial. Then High Court can set aside the current judgement,” he said. If this is approved, then the investigation should begin right from the start, where the initial chargesheet will also be under question, he added. Satyam Reddy, another senior advocate concurred with him. He pointed out that if there is an option for retrial, then every individual in every case can demand it.
About MIM’s allegations that the investigative procedure had lapses, he said that the court would have objected to it. “Nothing can be done now. The trial court would have recognised lapses and sought for a fresh chargesheet to start with. The trial court did not raise this point, nor did the investigative agency NIA,” he said. On the other hand, recalling the Gujarat riots case, where in hundreds of cases, the Supreme Court ordered for a retrial, senior criminal advocate Shafeeq Rehman Mahajir said that this case is as an exceptional case too.
“There was a confessional statement by Assemanand made in front of a magistrate. This is credible evidence capable of a conviction. There is also corroborative evidence that he was linked to several other blasts. So it is either magic, that the blast took place or that the investigating process or the proceedings before the court have been subverted,” he said. He also alleged that a case of this magnitude was assigned to a novice criminal lawyer.