FSL report says not able to ascertain chassis number of motorcycle.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court, while granting bail recently to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur (44), an accused in the September 2008 Malegaon blast case, questioned the authenticity of Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS)’s allegation against her — the use of a motorcycle registered in her name by absconding accused Ramji Kalsangra for planting the explosive device.
The HC pointed out that as per the report of Nashik’s Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) on October 7, 2008, “it was not possible to find out the chassis number and even the engine number could not be determined with certainty.”
FSL therefore had only “suggested” for the vehicle three likely engine numbers — (50K261886, 50K267686 and 50K261686) which turned out to be non-existent as per the vehicle manufacturer’s records.
The manufacturer had, in turn, based on the three numbers suggested by FSL, given two engine numbers (E55OK261886 and E55OK261686) that it said closely resembled actual vehicles made by them.
One of these two engine numbers, E55OK261886, turned out to be an LML Freedom motorcycle registered in Thakur’s name. The vehicle found at the blast site was “severely damaged”.
It had a fake registration number and its engine and chassis number was also not visible.
The ATS on November 10, 2008 learnt that one of the engine numbers suggested by the manufacturer was registered in Thakur’s name (GJ-05 BR-1920).
“There is enough doubt about motorcycle of which the appellant is the registered owner, was found at the spot of incident,” the HC said it its order.
The HC further said that even if the said motorcycle was found at the place of the incident and the fact that Thakur is the registered owner of it by itself “cannot be sufficient in the light of material on record brought
by the prosecution itself.”
The HC pointed out that it was from the materials collected by the ATS itself in its probe from which it was established that Kalsangra had been using Thakur’s vehicle “much prior” to the blast.
A case witness (prosecution witness 21), an ITI diploma holder who ran a motorcycle garage in Indore, had told ATS in October 2008 that Kalsangra had been, for the past two years, been bringing the motorcycle (number GJ-05 BR-1920) registered in Thakur’s name to the garage for “servicing”.