THE Rajasthan High Court recently granted bail to Shahbaz Ahmad, an undertrial in the Jaipur bomb blast case, who after spending 12 years in jail, was acquitted in eight FIRs but was re-arrested in a ninth FIR in the same case.
The court expressed surprise that Ahmad, who had been languishing in jail for 12 years and was ultimately found not guilty in all eight FIRs, was not only not freed, but was, instead, arrested in a ninth FIR which was similar to the eight FIRs in which he was acquitted.
Justice Pradeep Bhandari asked Advocate General why Shahbaz had not been arrested for twelve years when he was in judicial custody? The Advocate General expressed ignorance.
The judge, thus, allowed Shahbaz’s bail application after taking note of the fact that the present FIR was akin to the eight FIRs in which the petitioner had been found not guilty.
The petitioner’s counsel contended that as many as nine FIRs were lodged on 13.05.2008, with regard to the bomb blast which took place at Jaipur. Police filed chargesheets in eight cases against five accused persons. In all eight cases, of the five, four persons were given the death penalty and only Shahbaz was acquitted.
It was also contended that after his acquittal, the petitioner was not released and when he inquired from the jail authorities, was informed that there were two more cases still pending against him.
The petitioner was granted bail in one of the two cases on 08.01.2021 by the apex court but was arrested from jail in the present FIR on 25.12.2019
The petitioner added that all the nine FIRs were from the year 2008, relating to the bomb blast. Chargesheets were filed in only eight cases and in all eight, the petitioner was acquitted.
“There is no reason for arresting the petitioner after twelve years of lodging of the FIR. when the allegations in all the FIRs. are same”, the petitioner contended.
The Additional Advocate General appearing on behalf of the State did not dispute the facts placed before the court. He admitted that all nine FIRs pertained to the bomb blast and were similar.
FIR No. 121/2008 was registered at Police Station Kotwali, Jaipur Metropolitan, Jaipur for offence under Sections 153 & 153-A of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and sections 4, 5 & 6 of Explosive Substance Act and Sections 16A, 18 of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
Petitioner was represented by advocates Mujahid Ahmed and Nishant Vyas.