For the second time this month, the Anti Terrorism Court(ATC) hearing the November 26, 2008, Mumbai attacks case has postponed the matter as the record of proceedings of the Pakistan Judicial Commission’s visit to India was not yet received by the Foreign Office here. The case was to be heard on Thursday.
The matter will come up on November 6, according to Special Public Prosecutor of the case Chaudhury Mohammed Azhar. He told The Hindu on Thursday that the records were expected today but they had not yet arrived. The earlier date of hearing was October 3, which was postponed to Thursday.
“We are waiting for the record of proceedings which have to be submitted to the ATC judge who will scrutinise it and allow us to proceed with the re- examination of the witnesses,” he added. Four witnesses were to appear today but now they will be summoned the next time since they have to come from Karachi. At the next hearing provided the records are received from India, the person who sold the boat which was used by the ten terrorists to travel to Mumbai and another shop-owner who sold the life jackets will be re-examined. Two fishermen who saw the ten men leaving the port in their boat will also be summoned for their evidence, the prosecutor said.
The Commission returned from India on September 26 and had cross examined two witnesses, a doctor and the investigating officer of the Mumbai terror attacks case in the court of an additional chief metropolitan magistrate. Mr Azhar had said the visit was very cordial and even though the prosecution had a limited scope, it was able to re-examine all the evidence “within the given circumstances.” Last year the report of the judicial commission was rejected since it couldn’t cross examine the four witnesses or meet the two doctors who had conducted the post mortems of the nine dead terrorists.
The additional chief metropolitan magistrate who presided over the proceedings had to seal the records and send it to the government of India which in turn will send it to the Pakistan foreign office, according to Mr Chaudhury.