New Delhi, January 27
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Intelligence Bureau (IB) to record on an affidavit that it had not prepared any report in 2009 or shortly thereafter on the 2006 Mumbai train bombings case.
The order came on a plea moved by Ehtesham Qutubuddin Siddique, who has been awarded capital punishment for the July 11, 2006, serial blasts when seven RDX bombs ripped through as many Western line local trains in Mumbai killing 189 people and injuring 829, seeking an IB report of 2009 purportedly calling for a review of evidence in the case.
The direction was issued by Justice Prathiba M Singh who noted that the agency had earlier told the high court, in an earlier round of litigation on the same issue, that it was exempted from providing the report under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
“There is a contradiction in your (IB) stand. Let IB’s stand be filed on the record before this court categorically stating whether any report was prepared by it in 2009 or shortly thereafter (regarding the Mumbai train blasts case) and placed before the then Minister of Home Affairs. Affidavit be filed in four weeks and rejoinder thereto in two weeks thereafter,” the court said and listed the matter for hearing on April 13.
In the earlier matter, the high court had said the Central Information Commission (CIC) “erroneously” concluded that the information sought by Siddique did not pertain to allegations of corruption or human rights violation and asked it to consider his request afresh.
However, before the CIC, the IB stated that there was no such report as claimed by the convict and the commission, thereafter, dismissed his plea on June 11, 2019.
Siddique, in his plea filed through advocate Arpit Bhargava, has sought setting aside of the June 11, 2019 order of CIC claiming that the CIC decided by “blindly” trusting IB’s statement that there was no report of 2009.
Bhargava told the court that the IB filed an affidavit in July 2019 before CIC stating no such report existed only after the plea was dismissed.
The IB, represented by central government counsel Rahul Sharma and advocate C K Bhatt, opposed the plea saying Siddique’s claims were based on news reports.
They also told the high court that the CIC had accepted the IB stand that there was no such report.
Siddique, presently lodged in the Nagpur Central Jail, has claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case which amounts to a violation of his human rights and therefore, he needed the IB report which purportedly called for a review of the evidence in the 2006 Mumbai train blasts case. PTI