Hyderabad: Special public prosecutor N. Harinath who represented the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Mecca Masjid blast case and is under a cloud for his links with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) has admitted that he was a member of the ABVP, the student’s wing of the BJP when he was a law student.
“ABVP is a student organisation and I was associated with it during my college days. When my law course ended, my association also ended,” N. Harinath, the special public prosecutor, said.
He added that he had come in contact with the ABVP during his second year in law college. "I joined because a lot of my friends were associated with the unit. I would seriously say that it did not influence my work at any point of time. I did not hold any key position in the organisation and was just a member,” Mr Harinath said.
After the verdict was pronounced in the case by the NIA special court on Monday, several questions were raised about the links of Mr Harinath with the ABVP.
The NIA court acquitted five accused in the blast case, including Swami Aseemanand. There have been reports that Mr Harinath had little experience in criminal law and lacked the knowledge of a murder trial which is required in terror cases like the Mecca Masjid blast case. Nine persons were killed in the blast inside the Masjid in May 2007.
“The charges are false. I have fought 10 murder cases apart from taking up the cases of CBI economic offences wing. This apart, I am standing counsel since 2000 and from 2004 - 2009, working as a government law official in the High Court.
He was made standing counsel in 2011 during the UPA government. Four years later, he was given permission to appear for the NIA. "The allegation that I was made the standing counsel only during the NDA government is absolutely false," he added.
He alleged that the Mecca Masjid case had weakened in 2010 during the UPA regime when the CBI was in charge of the probe. Aseemanand was first arrested by the CBI in 2010 but was granted conditional bail in 2017.