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Bail to Malegaon blast accused: Court directs NIA to submit stand on Nov 04

Thursday October 27, 2011 06:50:32 PM, & Agencies

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Malegaon: The National Investigating Agency (NIA) today sought more time from the Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Court to submit its stand on the bail applications filed by the nine Muslim accused arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blast case.


Consequently, the court granted the federal agency time till November 04 to submit its stand.


According to advocate Jaleel Ansari, during the hearing on the bail application of the blast accused today, the NIA sought more time as there reply was not ready.


"The NIA however admitted that it has received all the reports of the polygraph and brain mapping tests conducted on the accused in Ahmedabad", Advocate Ansari said.


The NIA along with its stand on the bail application of the accused will also submit in the court the reports of these tests, he added.


"The court has also fixed November 19 as the next date after NIA submits its stand and report on November 04", Advocate Ansari said.


The nine Muslim accused in jail since 2006 had filed bail application on October 01.


Their earlier bail-application filed after Swami Aseemanand's confession was rejected by the same court in March 2011.


The nine Muslim accused filed the fresh application for bail after the case was handed over to the National Investigating Agency (NIA). The NIA after taking over the case conducted polygraph and brain mapping tests on the accused and reportedly found nothing.


Earlier, Swami Aseemanand, arrested in Ajmer and Samjhauta blasts had claimed that the 2006 Malegaon blast was also carried by the Hindutva terrorists.


Meanwhile, the National Commission for Minorities has asked the government to ensure that the Muslim accused are released at the earliest.

NCM chairman Wajahat Habibullah recently wrote to the ministries of home and law, asking them to proactively intervene and clear the way for bail to be granted.

“We have learnt that the NIA has carried out polygraph tests and found nothing. So, I have formally asked the government to end the suffering of these young men. After all, five years in prison is a full prison term in many offences. The longer this process takes, the more negative is the impact on the Muslim community, particularly among the youth,” The Sunday Express quoted Habibullah.

The commission wants the National Investigation Agency to spell out its stand. The NIA, which is the third agency looking at the same evidence, has been saying that it has not investigated the matter enough to give a “clean chit” to the nine accused, but is unlikely to oppose their bail plea at Monday's hearing.

Despite assurances from ministers and other politicians, the matter remains caught in investigations and legal formalities. The Maharashtra ATS, which had filed a chargesheet, found it difficult to retract after Aseemanand confessed that rightwing Hindu groups had carried out the bombings. It sought a copy of the confession, which the court could not authorise for the technical reason that the matter was being heard in another court.

It was also pointed out that the CBI, which had subsequently got charge of the case, too had filed a chargesheet against the nine Muslim youths. CBI director AP Singh appeared before the NCM along with the investigating officer and argued that the agency could not suddenly drop the charges.

After much persuasion, it was agreed that the CBI would not oppose the bail plea. Matters went according to this understanding in the next hearing three months ago, but the MCOCA court still refused to grant bail.

One of the principal reasons for this was the fact that in March, the home ministry had transferred the case to the NIA. So the process started again, and Habibullah discussed the issue afresh with NIA officials, who said they would have to re-examine the entire case.









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