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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Supreme Court relaxes bail conditions of accused terror mastermind Madani, represented in court by Kapil Sibal

On Monday, the Supreme Court allowed Abdul Nasser Madani, the prime accused in the 2008 Bengaluru serial bomb blasts case and other terrorist acts, to visit his home in Kerala. The Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC) of the Karnataka Police has objected to the plea of Madani, chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), seeking permission to return to Kerala. According to an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, the ATC stated that Madani is accused in a case that affects the security and integrity of the country.

If the conditions of Madani’s bail are relaxed, there is a likelihood that he may abscond, warned Dr. Sumeet, Assistant Commissioner of Karnataka ATC. He argued that six other accused, who have yet to be arrested, may contact Madani, gather information, and threaten witnesses. Madani can now visit and stay in Kerala till 8 July.

One person was killed, and 20 others sustained injuries when a series of bombs were detonated near the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru on 25 July 2008. Following the incident, Madani was taken into custody as he was accused of being the mastermind behind the explosions. He was booked under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act along with 31 others.

The decision to further relax the conditional bail conditions for the dangerous terror accused was made by a bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Bela Trivedi. The court asked Madani to bear the security expenses provided by the Karnataka police. Karnataka police officials will accompany the PDP chief in Kerala and shall return with him. 

Senior lawyer Kapil Sibal who appeared for Madani had informed the court that he was out on bail for the last eight years and had not done ‘anything untoward’ during this period. Madani sought relaxation in his bail conditions, which restricted him from moving out of Bengaluru, to visit his ailing father in Kerala.

Madani, who was on conditional bail, claimed his illness had ‘worsened’. He said his health condition is ‘terrible’, and he has memory loss and vision problems due to paralysis. In the petition, Madani requested that as his father’s health is poor he be allowed to see him. Madani’s Kerala trip will also include Ayurvedic treatments.

Madani’s return after five years (he was last seen here in 2018) has major political significance in Kerala. Congress and the ruling communist regime have maintained that Madani should not be ‘denied his rights’. Leader of Opposition V D Satheesan claimed Madani is a prisoner ‘denied a trial’. He has every right to get bail, he added.  

Earlier in 2014, Madani had visited his sick mother, for a month, after getting a relaxation from the Supreme Court. In 2021, when he approached the Supreme Court seeking permission to move to Kerala, Chief Justice SA Bobde called him a dangerous man. Experts opined that the apex court is giving mixed signals by releasing Madani on bail.

Last month, Madani announced his son, Sabahuddin Ayyubi’s enrollment as an advocate. Through a Facebook post, Madani claimed that his son’s achievement came through hard work during conflict-ridden times. The terror suspect turned emotional and said that his son is now donning the black gown amid many episodes of constant ‘denial of justice.’ He also shared pictures with his son along with the note.

Madani did not fail to draw his victimhood card. He claimed that a young Ayyubi once tried to stop the police officers who were trying to harm his wife, Sufiya, with his tiny hands and was thrown into the jail yard. “His bleeding face is still an unforgettable memory of mine,” wrote Madani. This is precisely the kind of incitement that the terrorist is known for.

Sufiya is accused no. 10 in the Kalamasserry bus burning case in which a Tamil Nadu government bus plying between Ernakulum and Salem was hijacked and set ablaze by T Nazeer (self-styled south India chief of terror outfit Lashkar-e-Taiba i.e. LeT) and others in support of their demand for release of Madani who was then detained in Coimbatore jail in connection with 1998 Coimbatore bomb blasts case that had targeted BJP leader L K Advani who was in town, killing 58. Madani was acquitted in 2007 for ‘lack of evidence’, but analysts suspect Tamil Nadu’s political equations had something to do with this verdict.

In 2010, it was reported that Madani had admitted to his role in the 2010 Bengaluru stadium blasts that injured over a dozen and forced IPL matches to be shifted, although Madani’s counsel later denied that he had confessed. As per some reports, Madani is also accused of involvement in the 2008 serial blasts that took place in Ahmedabad, Jaipur and the Surat 2008 bomb case where bombs were discovered in the nick of time.  

In 2011, after an SC bench was split on the matter of giving bail to Madani, the matter was referred to the Chief Justice of India SH Kapadia for the constitution of a new bench. At the time, Madani was represented by yet another rockstar Lutyens’ lawyer Shanti Bhushan, father of the notorious anti-Bharat lawyer/activist and conspiracy peddler Prashant Bhushan. Is it any surprise that our judiciary has a backlog of cases running into crores, where ordinary undertrials accused of petty crimes struggle for years to get a hearing, but repeat terror-accused persons get multiple priority hearings in the apex court due to their ability to hire/engage star lawyers?

The accused terrorist mastermind and ideologue’s bail relaxation comes at a time when radical Islamists are allegedly importing suicide squads from Shaheen Bagh and burning trains that run through the land.

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