Swami Aseemanand granted bail in 2007 Samjhauta Express Blasts case

Punjab and Haryana High Court: In a significant development in the 2007 Samjhauta Express blast case, the key accused Swami Aseemanand was granted bail by the Court observing that the trials in this case are still going on and the witnesses are still being examined. The instant appeal arose as the NIA Special Court on 2011 refused to grant bail to the appellant- accused and issue direction to National Investigation Agency (NIA) under Section 91 CrPC. The appellant was represented by S.P Jain and NIA was represented by Special Prosecutor S.S. Sandhu 

The Division Bench of the Court comprising S.S. Saron and Lisa Gill, JJ.,  referring to the Supreme Court decision in State of Orissa v. Debendra Nath Padhi, (2005)1 SCC 568 observed that the foremost requirement under Section 91 CrPC is that the document should be necessary and desirable for the purposes of investigation which is to be seen at the stage when the prayer for the production of the document is made, also if any document is necessary or desirable for the defence of the accused, the question of invoking Section 91 at the initial stage of framing of a charge would not arise since defence of the accused is not relevant at that stage. The Court further observed that under Section 91, the accused’s entitlement to seek order does not come till the stage of defence.  Thus the Court held that the stage of the case at which the document sought to be summoned is to be seen and since in the instant case the trials are still going on therefore the case has not reached at the stage of defence. N.K. Sarkar alias Swami Asimanand v. National Inverstigation Agency, CRA-D No.196-DB of 2012(O&M), decided on 28.08.2014

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