Court seeks police response on Kazmi's allegation of being interrogated by Mossa

Court seeks police response on Kazmi's allegation of being interrogated by Mossa

Amidst allegations that Israel's intelligence agency Mossad was interrogating Syed Mohammed Ahmad Kazmi, arrested for the  February 13 diplomat's car bombing, a court here today asked Delhi police to file an affidavit giving its response.

Though Delhi Police denied the allegations, Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav, apparently not convinced with the oral submission, wanted the cops to state on affidavit and sought the official register of the officers questioning the suspect.

On Kazmi's complaint that besides Delhi Police "Israeli officials (Israeli Intelligence Agencies, Mossad etc), are lined up to interrogate him daily and they are not in unifrom in order to hide their identity, CMM Yadav said "the reply of the Special Cell is silent about the wearing of uniform and name tags by the interrogating officers. Let a detailed reply be filed."

He also sought to know "if any register of names of persons interrogating Kazmi is being maintained and, if not, facts be stated by way of an affidavit by officer not below the rank of Deputy Commissioner of Police."

The magistrate further told the police that "he (Kazmi) is a human being and not a chatel or a property."

Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Vinod Yadav made the remark as Delhi Police opposed Kazmi's counsel's submission that "he has become a lab testing pig" who is being harassed in custody and is being interrogated by "not only the officials of Delhi Police but also by officials of other investigating agencies as every day he sees a new face interrogating him."

Delhi police however, submitted the "interrogation of the accused is being conducted as per law without causing any sort of harassment whatsoever to him. The allegations levelled are false and denied," the Delhi Police Special Cell told the court in a written reply. 

"Investigation of the case is at a very initial and crucial stage and hence interrogation of the accused is being conducted by the undersigned (Delhi Police) and not by any foreign agency," police said. The court also asked the police to put on record whether it has supplied the copy of arrest memo to Kazmi detailing the ground of his arrest.

Kazmi's counsel Vijay Agarwal also prayed to the court to allow him to be present during part of his (Kazmi's) interrogation, if not throughout, so that he can see his interrogators.

"I request that I be allowed to remain present during his interrogation, if not throughout. He may not be able to see me but I should be able to, even if I may not be able to hear him. And if I see any person other than Delhi Police official interrogating him, I would file an affidavit," Agarwal said.

The court asked the Delhi Police to suggest a manner whereby Kazmi's counsel can be permitted to be present during his interrogation and a balance needs to be struck between the right of the investigating agency to interrogate the accused and the accused's right to legal assistance. 

The CMM also rejected police's argument that the presence of a lawyer would amount to interference.

"How can we presuppose that the presence of a lawyer would amount to interference?" he said.

Kazmi, who was remanded in police custody till March 27, had on Thursday complained of custodial harassment and alleged he is being  harassed in custody and is being forced to "confess a crime he never committed."

Kazmi, who claims to have been writing for an Iranian publication, was picked up by Special Cell of Delhi Police after a probe showed he had been in touch with a suspect who is believed to have stuck the magnetic bomb on Israeli diplomat Tal Yehoshua's car on February 13.

Yehoshua and an Indian driver of the Embassy vehicle were among four people injured in the blast.