New Delhi: Video conferencing will be conducted in the stalled proceedings in a case against suspected top Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) terrorist Abu Jundal, an alleged mastermind of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks, said a Delhi court has said after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) fears threat to his life.
"After applying the findings/observations of the High Court, I am of the considered view that the application of NIA deserves to be allowed. I, therefore, allow the application of NIA under section 273 of the CrPC for commencing the trial through video conferencing," District Judge Amar Nath said.
Allowing the plea of NIA, the court said that its order should be sent to top officials of Mumbai's Arthur Road Jail, where Jundal alias Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari is currently lodged, for making necessary arrangements for his video conferencing on September 24, the next date of hearing.
"For that purpose, NIA shall take necessary steps. Put up on September 24. Copy of this order be sent to superintendent of Arthur Road Prison, Mumbai for making arrangement for video conferencing of accused Abu Jundal on September 24," the court said.
The proceedings in the case have been stalled since May, 2013 as Jundal was not produced before the court despite many production warrants being issued. NIA had charge-sheeted Jundal for allegedly conspiring to carry out terror activities in India, which includes the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks which killed 166 people in 2008 and the Aurangabad arms haul case.
In its plea, NIA had said that Jundal cannot be produced here as Maharashtra government, in its May 2013 resolution, apprehends that he could be assassinated or kidnapped by rivals during his transit from jail to court.
NIA's plea was opposed by Jundal's counsel advocate MS Khan, who had said that if trial was conducted through video conferencing, his defence would be adversely affected.