The court has also asked NIA to file an affidavit in reply to the appeal filed by ATS challenging discharge of eight accused in the case.
Mumbai: The Bombay high court has granted two weeks’ time to Maharashtra ATS to provide copies of its appeal to NIA against the bail pleas of seven Hindus accused in the serial blasts outside Hamidia Mosque in Malegaon, which killed 37 persons and left another over 100 injured in September 2006. The court has also asked NIA to file an affidavit in reply to the appeal filed by ATS challenging discharge of the eight accused in the case.
A division bench of Justices R.V. More and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi was to hear bail pleas of the seven Hindus accused in the serial blasts case being probed by NIA. However, NIA counsel Prakash Shetty informed the court that they had not been served copies of the bail pleas and ATS’ appeal against the same to which Mr More directed that petitions be served to NIA and sought its response within two weeks.
In April, a Sessions court had discharged eight men of terror charges after NIA submitted that the blasts were the handiwork of a Hindu extremist group. At that time, the state moved the high court against the order of the Sessions court.
Even before hearing of bail pleas could begin, Mr Shetty informed the court it was unaware of ATS’ appeal against the pleas as it had not been served copies of the ATS appeal or bail pleas and hence, needed time for the same. Justice More directed ATS to provide copies of its appeal to the NIA. Meanwhile, ATS also challenged discharge of the eight accused by NIA and hence, the court directed the agency to file an affidavit reply to the challenge within two weeks.