Mecca Masjid blast case: NIA prosecutor was active member of ABVP, had little experience in criminal law

National Investigation Agency (NIA) special public prosecutor N Harinath, who was in charge of establishing the guilt of the five men who were eventually acquitted in the Mecca Masjid blast case, was an active member of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP).

According to NDTV, Harinath is also closely associated with BJP. Telangana lawyers also claimed that he had little experience in criminal law.

Mecca Masjid blast case: NIA prosecutor was active member of ABVP, had little experience in criminal law

Representational image. PTI

Although Harinath tried defending himself by saying that he had been a lawyer for Enforcement Directorate's Economic Offences Wing and had appeared for the CBI in bank fraud, attempt to murder and abetment of suicide cases, other special prosecutors like Ujjwal Nikam and Amrendra Sharan said that the knowledge of a murder trial is a must in terror probes like the Mecca Masjid blast case.

"When I was pursuing my second year in law, I joined ABVP but have never been associated with the BJP. I have since been donating and helping them (ABVP) organise events," Harinath told The Indian Express.

He also said he did not face any pressure in the case. "From day one, we were working to secure the conviction in the case. When I joined in 2015, the trial was about to start and I was engaged by NIA after scrutiny of my application," the report quoted him as saying.

On Monday, a special anti-terror court in Hyderabad acquitted right-wing activist Swami Aseemanand and four others in the 2007 Mecca Masjid blast case, ruling that the prosecution failed to prove charges against them.

A massive blast had ripped through the Mecca Masjid on 18 May, 2007, during Friday prayers, killing nine people and wounding 58.

Aseemanand's counsel, JP Sharma, had told reporters after the verdict by a metropolitan court for NIA cases that "the prosecution failed to prove allegations against the five accused who faced trial in the case and hence the court acquitted them."

The case was initially probed by the local police before being transferred to the CBI, and finally in 2011 to the NIA, the country's premier anti-terror investigation agency.

Ten people with alleged links to Hindu right wing organisations were accused in the case. However, only five of them who were acquitted on Monday faced trial.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Apr 18, 2018 10:35:40 IST

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