It was the day of court hearing. Until and unless the inmates sentenced, they’re supposed to be presented in the court every fourteen days. But the crime branch had requested the court that given the seriousness of the charges against the accused and their group and many of their acccomplices are to yet to be nabbed, there is a possibility of attacks on the police party taking them to court and help them escape and the crime branch has intelligence inputs about it and thus the court hearings be moved to the jail premises. Mohammed and Co. argued a lot against the crime branch request to court. They said that to begin with the cases filed against them are unreal and they’re innocent, secondly the crime branch is simply making the matter look serious by cooking up fake storries and situations. The court ordered that Mohammed and co. won’t be allowed to venture without it’s permission. The next hearind will take place in the court premises and Sabarmati jail authporities will have to make the requisite arrangements for the same. It’s been more than 7 years since this decision. On every hearing, the judge would visit the jail with its staff for the hearings. The Gujarat government, guaging the seriousness of the case, had applied CrPc268 on the inmates and thus any agency that wished to take the inmates outside jail for investigation, it couldn’t without the government’s permission.
Mohammed and Co. weren’t happy wiith this decision at first as now they could not venture out of the jail. Mohammed had even thought of appealing against this decision in the high court, but being a lawyer by profession he understood the legalities and knew that given the situation, even the high court won’t grant them much relief. As the time passed, everyone got adjusted to this arrangement. There were special arrangements made inside the jail premises to have the court hearings inside the jail. The police would bring in Mohammed and his companions to the court atleast half an hour before the judge and his staff arrived. To keep an eye on the whole proceedings, officers from the crime branch, anti terrorist squad and intelligence bureau would be present. Whenever it was announced that the judge is arriving, rveryone present in the room stood up as a mark of respect for the judge as he walked into the courtroom from his chamber and they all took their seats only after the jugde has sat down. Mohammed had taught these manners for court to his inmates too.
That day too, before judge Sushil Mehta was to come, it was announced inside the room. Everyone stood up, expect for Mohammed and his companions. Everyone in the court was surprised to see this. The bench clerk, using his hands, hinted Mohammed to get up. He looked at his companions to ensure that they too are seated. The police thought Mohammed didn’t understand the clerk’s signal. A policeman went near Mohammed and placing his hand over his shoulder said, “Get up, the judge is coming”. Mohammed moved the hand aside and said, “He might be your judge, not ours”. By that time, the judge Sushil Mehta had already come in and reached his desk. He looked at the accused with a questioning look, on why they are seated. The clerk announced the court proceedings to begin. As per the rules, the clerk would call out the names of the accused and they would stand up to ensure their presence. Mohammed, Yunus, Parvez, Yusuf, Chand, Abu and Riyaz, the names were called out by the clerk but surprisingly, no one stood up, instead they raised their arm to confirm their presence. The judge looked at the accused by lowering his glasses. The proceedings were to begin, but before that the accused were asked if they wish to speak something or present something, any complaints of sorts.
The usual practice would be that Mohammed used to stand up and say no complaints, and would get back to his seat. But today Mohammed looked towards Yunus, he stood up and said, “The police is harassing us a lot. They’d enter the barrack time they want in the name of search orders. They’d throw out our belongings and would hit us too. Everyone was shocked listening to this. The police officials looked at each other wondering who might have done this to them. The judge looked towards the authorities and asked, “Do you have to say anything to this?” Jailer Kaushik Pandya came ahead stood in attention and said, Sir nothing as such has happened. The judge didn’t look convinced by Pandya’s argument. Pandya continued, “Sir recently a murder happened inside the jail premises, so the search and checking have become frequent, but there has been no instance where the belongings of inmates were thrown out or they were beaten. The jailer looked at Mohammed, and as if remembering something, he added, “This guy Mohammed never allows us to check his belongings and he argues a lot on this with the guards. The judge signalled the clerk to note down and said, “The authorities are informed that the inmates should not be misbehaved with or beaten while the search activities. A smile crept up on Mohammed’s face hearing this. He looked at Pandya from the side of his eye.