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Court refuses narco test on Jaipur blast accused

Court refuses narco test on Jaipur blast accused

Author: Special Correspondent
Publication: The Hindu
Date: May 2, 2009
URL: http://www.hindu.com/2009/05/02/stories/2009050254370500.htm

"No accused can be compelled to be a witness against himself"

Saif-ur-Rehman was arrested for his alleged role in the blasts

Accused not cooperating in the investigations, say Rajasthan police

A court here has refused permission to the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of Rajasthan Police to conduct narco analysis and brain mapping tests on Saif-ur-Rehman of Azamgarh in Uttar Pradesh, arrested on charges of alleged involvement in the May 2008 serial blasts in Jaipur.

The ATS obtained 22-year-old Saif-ur-Rehman's custody from the Special Task Force of Madhya Pradesh Police which picked him up from a train at Jabalpur railway station in the second week of April while he was on his way to Mumbai along with his newly-married sister. He is presently lodged in the Central Jail here under judicial custody.

Chief Judicial Magistrate Omi Purohit, rejecting the ATS application on Thursday, cited Article 20 (3) of the Constitution which lays down that no person accused of an offence can be compelled to be a witness against himself.

In his five-page judgment, Mr. Purohit said the Supreme Court had reserved its verdict on the validity of narco test in the stamp scam and Kushi Urban Cooperative Bank cases. "Since the consent of the accused has not been obtained, permission for conducting the tests cannot be granted," stated the Magistrate.

The ATS application had claimed that Saif-ur-Rehman was not cooperating in the investigation and was constantly changing his statements. Because of his "negative attitude", the police were not getting proper information about the conspiracy for the blasts and other accomplices involved in the crime, said the application.

The court had earlier directed the ATS to get the young man medically examined, while remanding him to the police custody, after he alleged that he was beaten up and tortured by policemen to accept a crime he never committed. The medical examination did not show any signs of external injuries.

Saif-ur-Rehman is the third young man from Azamgarh district implicated by the ATS in the Jaipur blasts case in which 69 people were killed. The other two accused are electronics engineer Mohammed Sarvar, who is presently in judicial custody here, and Mohammed Saif, who was arrested from L-18 flat of Batla House in Delhi after a controversial encounter on September 19 last year.

The ATS has claimed that Saif-ur-Rehman was a member of the so-called Indian Mujahideen and part of a group involved in planning and executing the May 13, 2008, blasts in the Walled City of Jaipur. He allegedly purchased some bicycles in the city and parked one of them in Chhoti Chaupar after placing a bomb in it, according to the ATS.

Saif-ur-Rehman's family has been consistently denying the charge. His father, Abdul Rehman Ansari - former head of Zoology Department at Shibli National College in Azamgarh - who was here to attend the court proceedings, said the young man had never visited Jaipur earlier and there was no reason for suspecting him to be a criminal.

Mr. Ansari said his son's arrest formed part of an "unending crackdown" on Muslim youths from Azamgarh ever since two innocent boys were killed in broad daylight in mysterious circumstances during the Batla House encounter in Delhi.

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