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HC nod for Aftab trial venue shift

The trial venue of Aftab Ansari, the main accused in the American Center attack case, can be transferred from city sessions court to Presidency jail, following a nod from Calcutta High Court on Friday.

Judges attending a meeting convened by Chief Justice A.K. Mathur held that Presidency jail fell under the jurisdiction of the city sessions division. So, there was no bar for the court to issue a notification allowing the trial court to shift venue from sessions court to Presidency jail, where Aftab and other accused of the same case have been kept.

The full-court meeting of the judges was convened after a high court judge wanted the issue discussed. The 11th judge of the city civil and sessions court, P.L. Dutta, had written to the chief justice, seeking to be allowed to conduct the Ansari trial in Presidency jail instead of the court for security reasons.

The state government and the advocates of the sessions court supported the move by the sessions judge.

The chief justice sent the application to Justice S.B. Roy for disposal. Roy, delivering the judgment, observed that the chief justice should issue a notification allowing the sessions judge to hold the trial in the jail.

The chief justice sought the written opinion of the judges in this regard. All the judges, barring one, had opined that the trial venue could be shifted, as Presidency jail was within the jurisdiction of the city’s sessions division.

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