Get fresh warrant to produce accused in Delhi court, ATS told

The Maharashtra ATS has been asked to file a fresh production warrant for the four Pune blast accused currently in judicial custody in Delhi after it was found that the warrant of the JMFC court, Pune, asking for the production of the four suspected IM men on October 30, had expired.

The court of the Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) in Delhi on Friday asked the Pune ATS, whose application had been held pending for the past month, due to issues of jurisdiction of the courts to hear cases under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, to get a fresh production warrant on Monday.

The ATS had approached the CMM court with the production application in October after the arrest of Maharashtra residents Asad Khan, Imran Khan, Feroze alias Hamza and Irfan Mustafa Landge by the Delhi Police Special Cell for allegedly planning strikes in the Capital during Dussehra and Diwali. The four are also the prime suspects in the serial blasts case in Pune in August.

The application, filed on October 26, was kept pending since the counsel for the accused had raised objections regarding the power of the CMM to remand an accused in a case covered under the NIA Act. The case had then been transferred to a Sessions Judge.

Advocate Mehmood Pracha, appearing for Irfan Landge, had also raised objection to the warrant issued by a magisterial court in Pune on similar grounds of jurisdiction.

After hearing the arguments from both the prosecution and the advocates for the accused, Additional Sesssions Judge Asha Menon on Friday sent the Pune ATS application back to the CMM court, stating that since the application was in relation to a production warrant by a Mumbai court, the Pune ATS plea was essentially an application for a transit remand. "Irrespective of whether the CMM has the jurisdiction to try a case, it is that court which deals with applications under s 267 CrPC and is authorised to permit the removal of a person in judicial custody in Delhi to another place outside Delhi in terms of s 267 CrPC," said the ASJ.

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