Delhi blast: shabby probe exposed

The acquittal by a Delhi court of two of the accused in the case of the 2005 serial blasts in the city has again raised uncomfortable questions about the system of investigation and prosecution of cases and about the working of the system of justice as such. The bomb blasts were among the major terrorist attacks in Delhi and resulted in the death of 80 people. The bombs had gone off in many places and had hit people who were doing their shopping before Diwali. The court found that two the three accused persons, Mohammad Fazli and Mohammad Rafiq Shah, were not involved in the case in any way and were falsely implicated by the police. Both of them, one a student and the other a carpet-maker, were kept in jail for 12 years though they had committed no crime. The third accused was convicted but not for the crime the police charged him with. 

Many years of the lives of the accused were wasted because of the inefficiency and callousness of the investigators — the Delhi Police. Who will compensate them for their loss? This has happened in the past also. Innocent people were framed and kept in jail for many years after the 2006 Malegaon blast case, the 2007 Hyderabad Mecca Masjid attack case and other cases. The accused were later let off by courts. This has happened in cases other than terrorism-related cases too, and the victims are usually those from the minorities and weaker sections. The investigators are said to just pick up people at random and foist charges on them without evidence. One of the accused in the Delhi case was writing his examination in Srinagar when, according to the charge-sheet, he was setting off bombs in the national capital.

Apart from the fairness of the system of justice, the efficiency of the investigation and the investigators’ commitment to truth are also involved in such cases. As the accused persons have been found not guilty, who set off the blasts? The investigating agency has the responsibility to let the nation know this, and to bring the real culprits to book. The agency has also done a disservice to those who died in the blasts and their families. Only efficient and honest investigations can get at the people and conspiracies behind crimes, especially terrorist crimes which have a serious bearing on national security. Such investigations also lead to solving of other cases and prevention of yet other crimes. Poor and faulty investigations and prosecution will also spoil the country’s case as a victim of terrorism. The Delhi case also shows how long delays in the dispensation of justice works against people who are unable to fight the system and end up as victims and losers.

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