Malegaon blast case: Bombay high court gives orders
Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the additional solicitor general to provide certain documents, including confessional statements, of three accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case to the intervener (father of a youth, Bilal, who died in the blast) and also to accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s lawyer within two days. The court observed that it would not be possible to decide on Sadhvi’s bail application without going through these documents. The National Investigation Agency (NIA), earlier in the day, had already informed the court that it does not have any objection if the accused is granted bail.
The documents concerned include confessions of the three accused, transcript or conversation recorded by Swami Amritanand alias Sudhakar Dwivedi on his laptop, transcript or conversation intercepted after the incident, Forensic Science Laboratory’s report on voice samples and the call data record of phones used by the accused in the case.
During the hearing, senior counsel B.A. Desai, on behalf of intervener Nisar Ahmed, whose son Sayed Azhar died in the blast, pointed out to the division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Dr Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi that the prosecution has not provided the above mentioned documents to the intervener. Hence, it has become difficult for it to restrict its arguments to limited points, Mr Desai said. Following this, the bench directed additional solicitor general Anil Singh to provide all the required documents to them within two days and posted the matter for further hearing on January 31.
Before the commencement of the intervener’s arguments, additional solicitor general Singh, appearing for the NIA, had told the court that the agency has already held that the provisions of the stringent MCOCA are not applicable in the case.
He further told the court that even before the NIA took over the probe, several prime witnesses had retracted their statements and complained that they were forced by the ATS to say incorrect things in their statements.
The trial court had given several reasons for rejecting Sadhvi’s bail application despite a clean chit from the NIA. The reasons for not granting bail included the fact that despite having the same material in hand, the agency had strongly opposed her bail plea earlier. The judge was of the view that even if confessional statements of a few accused were excluded, there was a prima facie case against her. According to the trial court order, a few things claimed by the applicant, including that the bike used in the blast was sold by her and was not in her possession, can be proved during trial.