HC upholds acquittal of Ansari, Sabauddin

The state's counsel Ujjwal Nikam could not convince the special court of designated judge M L Tahilyani of the culpability of Ansari and Sabauddin, nor could he convince the high court bench comprising Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice Ranjit More.

 The judges said "we are of the view that the view taken by learned Sessions Judge so far as the involvement of Ansari and Shaikh in this case is concerned, (it) cannot be called unreasonable, palpably false, manifestly erroneous and demonstratively unsustainable which merits our interference."

 The duo was charged with preparing maps of major targets of Mumbai like Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST), the Taj Mahal palace hotel, the Oberoi-Trident hotel and the orthodox Jewish centre Chhabad House in Colaba.

 Ansari was also accused of handing over the maps to an LeT operative in Kathmandu. The only witness the prosecution had brought before the trial court was one Nooruddin Sheikh, who confirmed the prosecution's story. Another evidence that the prosecution put forth was the recovery of a map from Abu Ismail, the partner in crime of captured terrorist Anmal Kasab, which allegedly tallied with that prepared by Ansari and Sabauddin.

 The trial court did not believe in the prosecution's story and had acquitted both of them for want of corroborative evidence.

 Incidently, Ansari is an accused as conspirator in the terror attack on a CRPF camp at Rampur in Uttar Pradesh.

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