Thursday, May 29, 2003
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Shanti Bhushan, counsel for Shaukat Hussain, said that this was because the tape sent to the expert was not the intercepted conversation. The police had recorded voice samples containing the same words as the intercepted call. It was this tape that was sent to the expert.
Mr. Bhushan said the intercepts failed all the tests of admissible evidence set out under POTA. The prosecution had attempted to circumvent this saying that POTA offences had been included only on December 19. However, there was evidence a letter from Air Tel that the police made reference to POTA offences on December 13. He told the judges, Usha Mehra and Pradip Nandrajog, that the question for them was "whether the police were aware or not that the act of terrorism they were investigating was a POTA offence.''
He also dealt with the confessional statement of Shaukat Hussain. The Supreme Court, he said, had ruled that a confession must appear truthful before it could be relied on. Shaukat Hussain's confession failed on this ground. The sequence of events, as set out in the confessional statement, was contradicted by prosecution witnesses and by the statement itself. Other circumstances listed against Shaukat Hussain Guru were improbable. One of these was that, he was identified among of four persons, including the deceased terrorist Mohammed, who had purchased a motorcycle from a second-hand dealer. However, Mr. Bhushan said the prosecution witness, an employee of the dealer had not picked Shaukat Hussain from a test identity parade, as laid down by the Supreme Court.
The evidence of this witness was suspect, Mr. Bhushan said. He had said during the trial he had signed seizure memos prepared by the police at the shop on December 18. However, the police official who had conducted the seizures stated that the date on which the seizures were made was December 19.
Such discrepancies, he said, appeared repeatedly. Referring to Justice Usha Mehra's earlier observation that the police did provide `padding' for their story, he said it was "not just padding'' but as if "they had some king of manufacturing factory.''
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