Cops turn lawyers in Karnataka terror cases

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When the two Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI) operatives were produced before the court in connection with the Church Street blast case, surprisingly it was the Bengaluru police and not a lawyer who were arguing the case.

Two accused in the Patna serial blasts case Haider Ali and Umer Siddiqui were brought down to Bengaluru from Bihar. They are being questioned for clues regarding the explosives trail which could have triggered the Church Street blasts.


No advocates for Bengaluru police

When Siddiqui and Ali were produced before the court, it was the police who advanced arguments. The police were seeking their remand in policy custody for interrogation. The normal practice for a prosecutor on behalf of the police to advance arguments.

The police were seen doing all the work which included citation of Supreme Court judgments. However the police did a good job as the court which was reluctant at first did after all grant police custody of the accused.

Lack lustre approach to cases of terror

Karnataka has probably one of the most lack luster approaches to cases of terror. Right from shoddy investigation to lack of legal support, the approach has not been professional.

Bengaluru rates very high on the list of terror outfits. The IT capital of India has been on the radar of terrorist organizations for long. Moreover the city has witnessed terror attacks several times.

However the state government which is supposed to appoint special prosecutors in terror related cases has failed to do so. There is just one prosecutor for all cases relating to terror and this has led to slowing down of the trial.

There are two issues regarding this lack luster approach to terror cases. Firstly not many advocates are forthcoming to take up the post. The state has also failed to make the job more lucrative and treat it as a specialized post which has ensured in these cases being fought are being fought in a lack luster manner.

Important cases of terror

The Indian Institute of Sciences attack had shaken up the city and also the rest of the country. The trial is yet to commence in this case. The police often cite that the main accused Sabahuddin Ahmed is being tried at a court in Uttar Pradesh and this has led to the delay.

The Bengaluru serial blasts case which is over 5 years old too is moving at a snail's pace. This case which is before the Additional City Civil Sessions Court-49 has not progressed as one would have liked.

There are nine different cases inter-linked to this case and it has one prosecutor who obviously feels over-burdened.

It is the same prosecutor who has also been given the job to handle the Chinnaswamy blasts case, the blast at Malleshwaram, Church Street attack and the Mehdi Masroor Biswas case.

However the police feel that considering the magnitude of these cases, the government should appoint a prosecutor for each of these cases.

Take for instance the Mehdi case, the police would need not just a prosecutor, but a legal expert who understands the subject which would range from knowledge of the ISIS, the India and UN ban.

The lack of knowledge on handling cases such as the one pertaining to Mehdi which was a crime committed on the internet has delayed the filing of a chargesheet. None can guarantee that the charges would stand the test of the trial given the kind of legal advise the police are getting.

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