26/11 terror trial: 'Headley should have been made a wanted accused'

The special court reserved its order till Nov 18 while hearing a plea seeking to make the LeT terrorist an accused in the 26/11 attacks case

The Special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities Act (TADA) Court judge told Special Public prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam, who was arguing that LeT member David Headley should be tried in the 26/11 attacks case, that Headley should have been made a wanted accused in the case.

Also read: Mumbai police may secure Headley's deposition via video conferencing

On October 8, the prosecution had filed an application before the TADA court, which said that in the interest of justice, LeT member David Headley (inset) should be tried along with accused Abu Jundal in the 26/11 terror attacks case of 2008 in which 166 people were killed and 238 injured
On October 8, the prosecution had filed an application before the TADA court, which said that in the interest of justice, LeT member David Headley (inset) should be tried along with accused Abu Jundal in the 26/11 terror attacks case of 2008 in which 166 people were killed and 238 injured

The Sessions Court yesterday reserved its order till November 18 on Mumbai Police’s plea seeking to make Pakistani-American LeT terrorist Headley an accused in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks case.

On October 8, the prosecution had filed an application before the TADA court, which said that LeT member David Headley should be tried along with accused Abu Jundal, in the interest of justice, in the 26/11 terror attacks case of 2008 in which 166 people were killed and 238 injured.

The application also requested the court to write to the United States Department of Justice, and request that Headley attend the next date of Jundal’s trial via videoconference.

While arguing for the application before Special TADA court Judge G A Sanap, Nikam said the American court wasn’t competent to try Headley for offences under the Indian Penal Code. The charges under which he was convicted before the US court and the charges against him here are totally different.

Also read: Mumbai plotter David Headley joined LeT 'full time' after 9/11

While Nikam was reading out the judgment of the US court on Headley, Judge Sanap said, “Are you relying on evidence collected by America? He should have been made a wanted accused. You are coming with evidence collected by others.”

The judge also pointed out that after the US took custody of and later convicted Headley, the Mumbai police did not launch an investigation. The judge also asked the prosecution, “What have you people done when the arrest was disclosed? You are relying upon facts that this man was in India for three years.

Even after the judgment, what investigation has been conducted? For what purpose the judgment of a foreign court can be used as evidence?” To this Nikam said that there is nothing like a section on criminal conspiracy in America, like Indian law has, under Section 120 of Indian Penal Code.

Headley, accused of conducting a recce of targets before the Mumbai terror attacks, was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment by a court in the USA after he entered into a plea bargaining agreement with the US government.

— Inputs from Agencies

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