Delhi HC 2011 blast accused gets bail ‘at own risk’

Supported by the Attorney General of India, the 2011 Delhi High Court blast accused Aamir Abbas Dev has been granted bail by the Supreme Court “at his own risk”.

The blast at the Delhi High Court’s reception on September 7, 2011 killed 15 people and left another 100 injured. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) said the blast was the handiwork of Hizbul Mujahideen to threaten the judiciary.

In an order last month, a bench headed by Chief Justice T S Thakur allowed Aamir’s interim bail plea after Attorney General Mukul Rohatgi, appearing for the NIA, stood in favour of his release from Tihar Jail in Delhi.

The order recorded Rohatgi’s statement that since the Delhi High Court had refused to release Jammu and Kashmir resident Aamir because of certain threats that he allegedly received, the Supreme Court could, “at the risk of the appellant (Aamir)”, grant interim bail to him.

Rohatgi submitted before the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi, that the public prosecutor will not seek Aamir’s trial as an accused since he has made a clean and full disclosure of the facts of the case as an approver.

In December 2013, the Delhi High Court declined Aamir’s bail plea. The High Court held that Section 306 (4) (b) in the Code of Criminal Procedure required Aamir’s custody till the completion of the trial and that this condition could not be relaxed, particularly because Aamir has repeatedly complained about threats to his life and to his family.

Two years later, the government’s top law officer backed Aamir’s appeal for release. Rohatgi told the bench that the State at no stage opposed his bail and that Aamir could be let out since he was willing to take responsibility for his own safety.

“We see merit in that submission. We accordingly direct that the appellant shall be released from custody subject to his furnishing bail bonds in a sum of Rs 50,000 with two sureties in the like amount. Since the appellant belongs to district Kishtwar in J&K, he shall report once in a month to the jurisdictional police station nearest to his home,” d the court stated in its order.

Aamir turned approver in October 20111 following his arrest in the case with two other accused. In his two confessional statements, he gave details of the conspiracy behind the blast and about the other accused. As per Aamir’s statements, he was aware of the plot and was involved in sending emails to media houses, claiming responsibility for the blast on behalf of the banned terror outfit.

In May 2012, the trial court accepted his plea to grant pardon subject to his making a full and true disclosure of all facts in his knowledge. But it rejected his plea for bail in June 2013, underlining that Section 306 (4) (b) of the CrPC mandated detention of an approver till completion of the trial. The High Court concurred with the trial court when it dismissed Aamir’s plea for release on December 16, 2013.