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"Something seriously lacking in our system": Sachin Pilot slams acquittal of Jaipur serial blasts convicts
Jaipur: Congress leader and former Rajasthan deputy chief minister, Sachin Pilot, on Thursday said the acquittals in the Jaipur serial blasts case despite the lower court awarding death sentence to the convicts was "unfortunate".
On Wednesday, The Rajasthan High Court acquitted all four convicts in the 2008 Jaipur serial blasts, which claimed 71 lives and left over 180 persons injured. A division bench of justices Pankaj Bhandari and Sameer Jain acquitted the four accused. Mohammad Saif (32), Mohammad Sarvar (36), Saif-Ur-Rahman (36), and Salman (34) were awarded capital punishment by the trial court.
On May 13, Jaipur was rocked by a series of blasts as bombs went off one after another at Manak Chawk Khanda, Chandpole Gate, Badi Chaupad, Chhotu Chaupad, Tripolia Gate, Johri Bazar and Sanganeri Gate.
Pilot said if the convicts sentenced to death by the lower court are released on the ground of improper investigation, then it is a serious matter and action should be taken against those responsible.
Speaking to reporters at his Jaipur residence on Thursday, the Congress leader said, "Those involved in the Jaipur serial blasts case were caught, convicted and sentenced. However, despite a lower court awarding the death sentences to the convicts, they were acquitted by the high court. This is unfortunate."
"The Home department will have to see if there were any procedural lapses, which eventually led to their acquittal despite being awarded the death sentence by the lower court. If there were lapses, then it is a very serious matter. It seems that the investigation was not done properly. There were shortcomings. This is a very serious matter and those responsible should be investigated. How could the convicts be let off? If not them, someone must have triggered the serial blasts," Pilot added.
He added, "We will also have to explain the acquittal of the convicts to those who lost their loved ones in the blasts. If the courts can't get them justice and closure, then there must be something seriously lacking in our system and those responsible should be investigated."
On the disqualification of Rahul Gandhi as Lok Sabha MP, which followed his conviction and a suspended sentence in a criminal defamation case in 2019, Pilot said, "Stripping Rahul-ji of his membership of the Lok Sabha within 24 hours of the judgment and a notice to vacate his government bungalow bears a distinct whiff of political vendetta."
On the ongoing doctor's strike against the Right to Health Bill of the Ashok Gehlot government, the former deputy CM said, "The strike is ongoing for the last 12 days and it has had affected healthcare services in the state."
Pilot said while the government's intention behind the Bill, people should avail universal healthcare, may be right, the patients are upset with stalled medical services and the onus is on all stakeholders to listen to all sides and reach a settlement that's acceptable to all.
"The most worrying aspect is that thousands of patients are being denied immediate medical attention and talks are necessary to break the deadlock. Everything is possible through dialogue," Pilot added.
On Tuesday, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot appealed to doctors, protesting against the Right to Health Bill, to call off their stir saying his government was ready to listen to them.
Doctors at private hospitals across Rajasthan have been protesting against the Right to Health (RTH) Bill by way of a weekly work boycott. They have urged the Gehlot government not to implement the Bill.
Rajasthan, last week, passed the Right to Health Bill, which gives every resident of the state the right to avail free Out Patient Department (OPD) and Patient Department (IPD) services at all public health facilities.
Rajasthan became the first state to offer such services. (ANI)