Human Rights

Lucknow 2007 serial blast probe may take more time

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MG exclusive interview with One-Man Commission
Justice RD Nimesh is not media savvy. He is perhaps ‘media-sensitive’. He today heads a ‘one-man commission’ investigating the judicial probe, of the blasts which had taken place in Lucknow and Faizabad-(both in UP) on November 22, 2007.

The serial blasts in Lucknow, Faizabad and Benaras had killed 14 people and left 50 injured. It had led to the arrest of Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasmi as the main accused. Sitting on the fifth floor at Sahkarita Bhawan, Lucknow Justice Nimesh would not divulge his full name and would also disallow himself to be photographed. He would also seek to see the copy of his interview, in advance, before it was to go into print! In his first ever interview, since the investigation started, he spoke to Haider Abbas of The Mil ligazette, about the progress of the probe.

How would you see the delay of about nine months (notification was made in March 2008), for the probe to finally start, from January 2009 onwards?
There was no office available. I cannot say anything more.
How long would it take more to finally conclude?
 It depends upon the process of examination. May be eight to nine months more.
 Please give the details?
They are with my secretary Syed Muhammed Haseeb.
Can I have your secretary’s cell number to contact?
I don’t have it with me.
If you can yourself, please elaborate?
 Well, there are 42 witnesses. I have got six complaints. Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasmi have submitted their affidavits too.
How many affidavits have come?
There are 42 affidavits to have come up from the defense side.  42 have come from the prosecution (UP Special Task Force) and one more is still to arrive.
Did you meet Khalid and Tariq?
Yes, several times they had to come to my office. I also once went to the District Jail to see them. I have also been to Jaunpur and Azamgarh — their respective native places — as a part of my probe.
How do you find yourself heading this probe?
Every probe is a new opportunity. I had got many cases solved during my tenure. I got solved the famous Imrana case as District Judge, in Muzaffarnagar, UP in which Imrana was seduced by her father-in-law. During my judicial services I had got nine criminals hanged.
What’s the expenditure supposed to have been incurred on this probe?
 I don’t know. May be some 8-10 lakhs had come for it. Now the cross examination of witnesses is to be done. When they would turn up on their summons I will pay them.
Please tell about your education and how you joined judicial services?
I was born in Agra. I got fourth position from Agra University in my Bachelor of Law. I qualified Public Service Commission (Judiciary) in 1974. Got my first posting as Munsif in 1975 at Bulandshehr. Then, as a Civil Judge at Aligarh. Then, became Additional District and Session Judge at Nainital in 1989. Thereafter, as District Session Judge in 2005 at Mau. Got transferred to Banda and later to Muzaffarnagar from where I got retired as District Session Judge in October 2007.

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 March 2010 on page no. 11

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