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Mohammad Kazmi's probe extended by 90 days

A court here on Saturday allowed a police plea seeking extension of the custody of journalist Syed Mohammed Ahmed Kazmi, who is suspected of involvement in the February bomb attack on an Israeli diplomat here.Mr. Kazmi, who was arrested on March 6, would have completed 90 days in custody on June 3.The application of the Delhi Police Special Cell was moved under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which allows a suspect to be kept in custody for 180 days from the date of arrest, during which time a charge sheet has to be filed. Otherwise, the suspect will become automatically eligible for bail.

Remand till June 22
Extending judicial remand till June 22, the court also allowed the Special Cell to continue its probe for another 90 days, while Mr. Kazmi is kept in judicial custody. Police sources said the investigation would now extend to some foreign countries too.Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Vinod Yadav passed the order after stating he would have to go through the entire investigation record to satisfy himself that investigation was progressing properly and that a “specific reason for detention of the accused beyond 90 days is made out.” The public prosecutor sought in-camera proceedings on the ground that the Special Cell findings had to be protected at this stage of the case.

A police source said a Letter Rogatory was being sent to Georgia and Israel and LRs were also being sent to Iran, Malaysia and Thailand seeking information on the suspects, their movements and records of mobile phone call details. A special team, besides seeking information on mobile phone call detail records of the suspects from Georgia, Thailand, Malaysia and Iran, will, if necessary, visit these countries. The Delhi Police suspect that the series of blasts in India, Georgia, and Thailand in February were targeted at Israeli diplomats and that there was a common conspiracy.

Notice to Delhi Police
In another development, the CMM issued notice to the police asking them to reply to an application, filed on behalf of Mr. Kazmi, seeking a detailed inquiry, and initiation of legal action and registering of a criminal case against the persons responsible for “illegal removal/possession and production of the remand papers” in the case.The application requested the court to pass an order to get the remand papers, including original remand applications and original orders, verified and scientifically examined by the Forensic Sciences Laboratory to rule out forgery/manipulation. Mr. Kazmi also demanded that he be unconditionally released, saying he was “illegally detained under the force of unsustainable orders.” He said the remand orders could not be taken as “legal/sustainable” until they were “examined and established upon examination by the FSL and/or any other expert in this field”.

Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) S. S. Rathi had on May 25 set aside the CMM's May 1 order declining certified copies of the judicial/police custody remand applications to Mr. Kazmi's counsel, Mehmood Pracha. After perusing the remand applications/orders, the ASJ said the CMM's order of March 7, granting the Special Cell 20 days' police custody for Mr. Kazmi, was “handwritten so poorly, that it is almost illegible.” The remand applications/orders were initially missing, but were produced before the ASJ, a few hours after the proceedings began, by the staff of the CMM's court who said the papers were misplaced in another file.

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