28 May, 2016
The recent discharge of eight accused in the Malegaon case by the trial court, has again brought to light a recurrent theme in the prosecution of terror accused in India. The fact that the court chose to discharge the accused 10 years after the crime, speaks volumes about the prosecution evidence in the present case. Discharge of an accused occurs during the stage of inquiry in a criminal case. This is when the investigation is over and the case is handed over to the court for conducting an inquiry into the matter. Only after this stage, and if the court is satisfied that sufficient basis exists for the trial to take place, are the accused formally charged with having committed the crimes in question and then tried. What we have witnessed in the Malegaon case is the court deciding that not even sufficient basis exists to try the accused.