Batloo case: HC dismisses state’s criminal appeal

Panaji: High Court of Bombay at Goa has dismissed a criminal appeal filed by state of Goa related to the Tariq Ahmad Batloo case.

The appeal, under Section 378 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (CrPC) was directed against the judgment and order dated July 10, 2008, passed by the Ad hoc Assistant Sessions Judge, FTC-I, South Goa at Margao, acquitting the respondent , Tariq Ahmad Batloo of the charges under Sections 121, 419 and 420 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Sections 4 and 5 of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908, Section 7, read with Section 27 of the Arms Act, 1959 and Section 164, read with Section 179 of the Railways Act, 1989.

A government advocate submitted that in the present case, there was ample evidence on record that the respondent indeed alighted from Mangala Express at about 8.45 pm on March 10, 2006, carrying the suitcase.

Upon apprehending, a search of the suitcase revealed that the same contained two hand grenades, RDX powder and two detonators. He submitted that all this was witnessed by the raiding party and attached under the panchanama. The experts who have deposed in the matter, have confirmed that the powder, so attached, was indeed RDX and the cylindrical objects were detonators. He submitted that the grenades could not be got examined on account of some miscommunication between the Ministry of Home Affairs and the state police. He submitted that police witnesses who have deposed in the matter, had absolutely no animosity or hostility against the respondent and, therefore, the Sessions Judge clearly erred in not even adverting to the evidence of the police witnesses.

The respondent, in his arguments opposing framing of charge, took up a specific plea that he was never arrested at the Margao Konkan Railway Station as alleged by the prosecution on March 10, 2006, but was arrested on March 3, 2006 at about 3.30 pm to 4 pm by police inspector of CID, Crime Branch, near Grace Church, at Margao and after being detained illegally, it was made to appear as if he was apprehended at the railway station whilst alighting from the train. [NT]