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2008 blasts case: Gujarat HC asks special court to conduct speedy trial

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Ahmedabad: The Gujarat High Court has directed a special court, trying the 2008 Ahmedabad serial bomb blasts, to conduct speedy trial of the case.

“I may only say that the trial court shall make all possible endeavour to see that the trial proceeds expeditiously,” Justice J B Pardiwala said.

The court acted on a petition filed by Safdar Hussain Nagori- one of 78 accused in jail in the serial blast case, who had said in his plea that the trial of the case took more than seven years and sought bail for him and others on the ground of delay in trial.

On this, the court said, “The law is very settled that mere delay in conclusion of the trial would not automatically give a right to the accused to pray for bail.”

Special public prosecutor in the case J M Panchal had submitted before the court that the trial of the case is very much in progress.

He also said that the Supreme Court had earlier given an order to expedite its trial.

In a terror attack, 21 serial blasts had rocked Ahmedabad city on July 26, 2008, in which 56 people were killed and hundreds were injured.

Some of the blast case accused had tried to escape from the Sabarmati Jail by digging a tunnel in 2012.

The escape plan of the accused had came to light on February 10, 2012, when jail authorities stumbled upon the 218 feet long tunnel inside barrack No 4 ‘Chhota Chakkar’ of Sabarmati jail.

Following the jail-escape bid, the accused are being kept separately in new jail building.

Gujarat police had charge-sheeted 100 people in the case where 78 accused are behind bars while the remaining are absconding.

The special trial court in the case so far examined around 400 witnesses including panch witnesses, policemen, doctors, executive magistrate and also injured witnessed.

However, the key witnesses whose identity is kept secret have not given their testimony before the court.

PTI