The Telegraph
Tuesday , August 19 , 2014
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ATS feels pinch of missing special court

The lack of a designated court to hear cases lodged with the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) has hit the state hard in investigation into the incidents.

It’s been eight months since the squad was formed. But the government has failed to notify a designated court to look into the cases.

The hitch came into focus when three suspected arms suppliers were produced before the chief judicial magistrate, Patna, last Thursday.

Sources said the ATS sought police remand of the three suspected suppliers for interrogation the same day. The court, however, didn’t allow it for the absence of a notified court. So, the three — Arun Kumar, Jamshed Alam and Surendra Paswan arrested from Munger — were remanded in judicial custody for 14 days.

An investigating officer said: “The inability to take the three in remand will delay the probe into the case. They are said to have links with terror outfits. Though we wanted to take them in remand for further questioning, the court turned down the request.”

The ATS police station had lodged its first case (No. 01/14) against the three arms dealers under sections 25(1B)/26 and 35 of the Explosive Substances Act and sections 18 and 19 of Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act.

Sub-inspector Anil Kumar earlier told the chief judicial magistrate, Patna, Ramakant Yadav that three alleged arms suppliers were arrested after a team intercepted their telephonic conversation for delivery of the consignment. He claimed the police had enough evidence against the accused, including Faizabad (Uttar Pradesh) resident Arun Kumar.

Public prosecutor Jai Prakash Singh said: “It’s true that there is no designated court to deal with the cases lodged with the state ATS police station that has jurisdiction across the state.”

The ATS, which was made operational in the aftermath of the serial bomb blasts in Bodhgaya and Patna, faces a manpower crunch too. An officer in the rank of inspector-general, Paresh Saxena, was appointed its head in November 2013.

Sources said neighbouring Uttar Pradesh had set up its ATS in 2007. Its head, Rajeev Sabharwal, told The Telegraph: “We share information with our counterparts in other states from time to time.”

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