Samjhauta blast case: Judge was constrained to acquit the accused as NIA withheld crucial evidence

The special judge, Jagdeep Singh, who tried the Samjhauta Express bomb blast case came down heavily on the National Investigation Agency (NIA) lamenting that the prosecution “withheld” the “best evidence” which was not brought on record, eventually resulting in the acquittal of all the accused. The blast had killed 68 people including 10 Indian and 43 Pakistan citizens.

The Panchkula special court judge, Jagdeep Singh, who last week acquitted all four accused in the Samjhauta Express blasts case, said he was doing it “with deep pain and anguish” because a “dastardly act of violence” was going unpunished. He said he was constrained to acquit all the accused as the prosecution failed to examine many witnesses and present the best evidence.

Jagdeep Singh’s statement came on Thursday, while the verdict was delivered on March 20. As reported by the Indian Express the judge said some of the cited independent witnesses were never examined or sought to be declared hostile for cross-examination when they chose not to support the prosecution case.

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The Wire reported that the judge observes with some anguish, “There are gaping holes in the prosecution evidence and an act of terrorism has remained unsolved. Terrorism has no religion because no religion in the world preaches violence. A court of law is not supposed to proceed on popular or predominant public perception or the public discourse of the day and ultimately it has to appreciate the evidence on record …” the report further observed, “It won’t be an exaggeration to suggest that the investigation and prosecution systems have faced the gravest assault under the Modi-Shah regime.”

4 accused, including Naba Kumar Sarkar alias Swami Aseemanand, Kamal Chauhan, Rajinder Chaudhary and Lokesh Sharma were acquitted by the court on March 20.

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