New Delhi: In yet another major humiliation for the government, another "fugitive" named in India's most wanted list handed over to Pakistan has been found in a Mumbai jail, barely few days after the first such goof-up came to light. The CBI later suspended an Inspector and transferred two of its senior officials. JPN/Agencies
According to reports, the premier probe agency suspended one Inspector and transferred an SP and DySP for the "lapse" after a preliminary inquiry.
India's list of '50 most wanted' has the name of Feroz Abdul Khan, alias Hamza, 51, an accused in 1993 Mumbai blast case, who was arrested from a village in Navi Mumbai in February last year and was handed over to CBI for further investigation.
CBI had issued an Interpol Red Corner Notice against Khan in 1994 but the notice was not withdrawn even after the agency has got his custody.
"CBI has conveyed to the Home Ministry that the lapse was on the agency's part. When CBI forwarded the list to MHA, they forgot to delete the name of this person," a Home Ministry spokesperson said.
Khan is alleged to have facilitated transport and distribution of arms and ammunitions during the blast and subsequently. Mumbai police had alleged that following Dawood Ibrahim's instructions, Khan arranged for landing of arms allegedly used in the blast.
"We are examining the matter and strict action will be initiated against erring officials," CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said.
Earlier, Wazhur Kamar Khan, whose name had also figured in India's most wanted list, was traced in Mumbai, in the first case of the goof-up.
Khan’s lawyer expresses surprise
Meanwhile, Khan’s lawyer in Mumbai has expressed surprise over his inclusion in India's '50 most wanted' fugitives list despite being lodged in the Arthur Road Jail in Mumbai.
"After all, why did they not check things out before issuing the list to Pakistan? His name should have been struck off the list," Farahana Shah said while expressing her amazement
over the inclusion of Khan's name at 24th place in the list, which was made public recently.
"I am his lawyer and he is an undertrial in the 1993 serial blast case," she said.
The CBI website describes Khan as a fugitive carrying a reward of Rs two lakh.
Khan was arrested on February 7 last year after allegedly travelling abroad on passports obtained using forged documents. Khan (51), was arrested from Koparkhairane in Navi
Mumbai where he was staying under fictitious name of Ferozuddin Shaikh. He allegedly played a key role in landing and distributing the explosives and ammunition, which were
used during the blasts, at Kandalgoan creek.
According to CBI, Khan had confessed to his role in the blasts after which he travelled to Karachi in year 1997 and 1999.
Meanwhile, Maharashtra Home Minister R R Patil declined to comment on the gaffe, which has caused a huge embarrassment to India.
BJP slams Centre for second goof-up
The BJP wasted little time in seizing on the second embarrassment in the space of two days to come down heavily on the government. The party targeted Home Minister P Chidambaram alleging he is responsible and the Home Ministry is a "total failure".
BJP president Nitin Gadkari said "it is a failure of the Home Ministry and the way in which it has been happening. It is very unfortunate and shameful for the country." He said the goof-up is an "embarrassment" for the country. "The international community will not take our case seriously", he added.
When it was pointed out that CBI is under DoPT, Gadkari said "this indicates how our agencies are working and how our government is working."
Taking on CBI, he charged "the agency is only blackmailing political parties...they have acted against the opposition leaders. This is only protecting the interests of Congress party."
Seeking an explanation from Home Minister, Gadkari said "it is time for Chidambaram to explain all this as it is a security matter and a serious matter. The matter relates to national interest and the way government is dealing with such a case, it indicates that investigating agencies are so politicised."
Humiliation for CBI in Copenhagen
In the third instance, the CBI on Thursday had egg on its face when its team landed in Copenhagen to seek extradition of the main accused in the 1995 Purulia arms drop case Kim Davy with an expired arrest warrant.
The CBI admitted there was a "slip up" over the issue of the arrest warrant that expired in January this year.
A two-member CBI team, which reached Copenhagen on May 16, was in for a surprise after Davy's counsel pointed out during court proceedings there that the arrest warrant issued by a special CBI court in Kolkata against his client had expired in January this year.
A red-faced CBI is trying to find out how the Red Corner Notice warrant for Davy had a time limit for executing it as such warrants are generally issued by courts with an "open" time frame.
Accepting that it was a "slip up", sources in the agency said the question of how this lapse took place will be looked into once the two-member team comes back from Copenhagen. A team of CBI had reached Denmark on May 16 to assist local authorities in the process of Davy's extradition.
Normally, the warrants issued for Red Corner Notice cases are "open ended" with no time limit for executing them but the warrants issued in the case of Davy had a time limit till January this year.
Soon after the lapse was pointed out by Davy's lawyer, the agency officials sought fresh warrant from Special CBI court in Kolkata on Wednesday which were immediately dispatched to Copenhagen where a hearing was scheduled on Thursday.
"All documents are in order with the CBI team," CBI spokesperson Dharini Mishra said today. A CBI official was earlier quoted as saying that an oversight had led its team to go to Denmark with an invalid warrant.
Downplaying the issue, CBI(DIG) Arun Bothra said in Copenhagen," I want to clarify that we coming here with an expired warrant or the live warrant is a non-issue,” adding "We thought, as an extra precaution, to have the warrant re-validated again."
CBI sources said the "slip up" will not have any bearing on the extradition process as the evidences have already been placed before the lower court which has decided against the extradition of Davy.
"We want his extradition for standing trial in India as government has already assured the Danish Government that if convicted, Davy will be allowed to serve his term in Denmark prison. Basically, the issue is of human rights in Indian prisons," an official privy to development said.
The agency officials which have reached Danish Capital have carried with themselves a letter from Director General (Prisons) West Bengal assuring about the human rights protection issues in the prisons of the state.
The CBI had registered the case on December 28, 1995 after sophisticated arms including AK-47 assault rifles, anti-tank grenades and other weapons were dropped from a foreign plane in the fields of Purulia in West Bengal on the night of December 17, 1995.
An Interpol Red Corner Notice was issued against Kim Davy in 1996 on the request of the agency. Since he was traced to Denmark in 2001, efforts continued to extradite him to India even though there was no extradition treaty between the
A five-member constitutional bench of the Denmark High Court is hearing the plea of the Denmark government which challenged a lower court order against the extradition of Davy to India.
New Delhi: In yet another major humiliation for the government, another "fugitive" named in India's most wanted list handed over to Pakistan has been found in a Mumbai jail, barely few days after the first such goof-up came to light. The CBI later suspended an Inspector and transferred two of its senior officials.