Mumbai: More than
six years after the infamous Aurangabad arms haul case was
detected, a special court here has examined only two of total 247
witnesses named in the charge-sheet, it came to light here
The matter was brought to the attention of Mumbai High Court's
Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari during the bail plea Tuesday of one of
the accused, Abdul Azeem A.J. Shaikh, alias Raja, accused of
parking a car in which the explosives were loaded, his lawyer
Sharif Shaikh said.
"The Bombay High Court has asked the trial court to file a reply
within two weeks clarifying why only two witnesses have been
examined in six years though the hearing was supposed to be
conducted on a day-to-day basis," Shaikh told IANS.
Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Special Court
Judge S.V. Modak is conducting the trial in the May 2006
Aurangabad arms haul case, in which one of the accused is
suspected Lashkar-e-Taiba activist, Sayed Zabiuddin Ansari, alias
Abu Jundal, who was deported from Saudi Arabia in June 2012.
Five years after the charge-sheet was filed in 2006, in August
2012, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) framed charges
against the accused in the case, including Azeem.
Arguing for Azeem's bail, Shaikh, representing the accused on
behalf of Jamiat-e-Ulema Maharashtra, said that at this rate, the
trial will go on for decades.
The Aurangabad arms haul case was cracked by the ATS when a team
of sleuths intercepted a Tata Sumo coming from Manmad and bound
for Aurangabad on May 9, 2006.
After a hot chase, police finally managed to intercept it and nab
one man, Mohammed Amir Shakil Ahmed, while two others escaped.
A search of the vehicle revealed an arms cache of 10 AK-47 army
assault rifles, 40 magazine pouches and 30 kgs black explosives.
Three days later, the ATS intercepted a Tata Indica car without a
registration number near Nashik. Subsequent investigations led
them to recover two boxes of arms from a gutter on the outskirts
A couple of days later, May 14, 2006, the ATS recovered five
computer cabinet boxes from an electrical shop containing five
AK-47 rifles, five packs of 100 cartridges, five packs of 20
magazines, and 13 kg of explosive powder.
Azeem contended that his entire role in what later became famous
as Aurangabad arms haul case was to help park the empty Tata
Indica car in his warehouse, but as its wheel got stuck in the
warehouse door, it was taken to another location in a school
compound at Ramzanpura and then finally outside a mill in Daregaon.
Shaikh said that in the confessional statements of other accused,
they have stated that Azeem helped park the stolen car in his
warehouse - which did not constitute an offence under MCOCA - and
he had no knowledge that it was used in transporting arms and
Accordingly, as no offence has been made out against Azeem by the
prosecution in the case, he was entitled to get bail since he has
been languishing behind bars for more than six years now.