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The Supreme Court Thursday declined a plea seeking a “roving inquiry” by a committee headed by a retired apex court judge into bomb blasts across the country since 2002 and said such a probe could result in “chaos and confusion”.

Petitioners Gulzar Ahmed Azmi and others had sought the setting up of the committee to help innocent Muslim men who were allegedly implicated to shield the real culprits.

An apex court bench of Justice T.S. Thakur and Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla said that “if the prayer of the petitioners were to be accepted (it) will only result in making a roving inquiry into the various criminal proceedings so far lodged (in) cases of bomb blasts all over the country”.

Justice Kalifulla said: “The granting of the petitioners’ prayer would amount to creating a parallel body without any statutory sanction and to function only under some directions of this court which would be lacking in very many procedural details and will ultimately result in utter chaos and confusion in dealing with the criminal proceedings which have already been lodged and progressing before various criminal courts.”

The court said this while addressing the petitioners’ contention that in bomb blasts cases the “real culprits are being shielded” while innocent Muslim boys were implicated in various bomb blasts cases since 2002.

The court said that since criminal cases registered in connection with various incidents were either pending trial or being investigated by police, it would be premature to say whether any, and if so, which of the accused was innocent or had been implicated.

“If anyone is falsely roped in any offence it is needless to state that there are enough safeguards provided under the various laws and under the criminal law jurisprudence, to protect the interest of such person,” the court said.

An accused claiming innocence could demonstrate before the fora concerned that he had been implicated, the judges said.

The court said that it would be for the concerned individual against whom any criminal proceeding was lodged to work out his remedy in the manner known to law.

“Even if such individuals are not in a position to seek for any appropriate legal assistance on their own, having regard to the set up of legal service authority and its effective functioning, in the nook and corner of the country, there should be no dearth of legal assistance for those affected persons to seek such legal aid free of cost,” the court said.

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