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The acquittal of Fahim Ansari and Sabauddin Ahmed Shaikh by the Supreme Court on Wednesday left Mumbai police’s elite crime branch red faced after it linked the duo with the 26/11 attacks.

With the apex court upholding the judgement of the Bombay High Court and rejecting to entertain review of acquittal of Ansari and Shaikh, it was time for Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam to put up a brave face by saying that the two were let off because of insufficient evidence and it was not possible to collect proofs.

“No doubt prosecution could not establish the charge against Fahim and Sabauddin for want of sufficient evidence. There is a difference between no evidence and insufficient evidence.

“The evidence which was beyond the control to collect cannot be termed as defective investigation,” Nikam told PTI over phone.

A bench of justices Aftab Alam and C K Prasad, while dismissing 25-year-old Ajmal Kasab’s plea against upholding of his death penalty, upheld the acquittal of Ansari and Ahmed, the two alleged Indian conspirators in the Mumbai attacks case.

Nikam, who helped in the investigations of the elite crime branch led by Rakesh Maria, at present in charge of Anti Terror Squad, was left in an embarrassing position by special court of M L Tahaliyani which had questioned probe conducted by the crime branch.

Maria and Himanshu Roy, at present joint Commissioner of Crime Branch, did not respond to calls or SMSes about the apex court judgement.

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