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Maharashtra opposes dropping terror law against Malegaon accused

Tuesday, August 25, 2009 10:04:30 AM, IANS

Court drops MCOCA against Malegaon blast accused, Govt. to appeal in HC: In a major setback to the investigating authorities, a Mumbai special court Friday ordered dropping of charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Sadhvi Pragnya Singh ... Read Full

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Mumbai: Almost a month after a special court dropped charges under a stringent anti-terrorist act against 11 accused in the Malegaon bomb blast case, the state government Monday decided to appeal against the ruling in the Bombay High Court.


On July 31, Special Judge Y.D. Shinde had dropped the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against all the 11 accused, dealing a major blow to the state investigating authorities.


A division bench comprising Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A.R. Joshi, while declining the state's plea to stay the lower court order, slated the next hearing Sep 8, said G. Sovani, lawyer for one of the prime accused, Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur.


"The court further directed the state to serve copies of its appeal to all the accused. In the meantime, we have also filed a bail application for Sadhvi, which would be taken up later by the court," he said.


Until the matter comes up before the Bombay High Court, the case will not start in the Nashik Court, according to Sovani.


"The MCOCA special court had granted the relief on grounds that the charge sheet filed against one of the prime accused, Rakesh Dhawade by the police in a matter pertaining to the Jalna court, was not sustainable. Hence, it dropped the MCOCA charges against the accused," Sovani explained.


The Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), Mumbai, had arrested 11 people, including the Sadhvi, in connection with the Sep 29, 2008, Malegaon blast which left six dead and 20 injured.


Besides the Sadhvi, the other prominent accused include Lt Col Prasad S. Purohit, a serving Indian Army officer who helped to procure RDX for the blasts; retired Indian Army Major Ramesh Upadhyaya, who allegedly trained the conspirators in bomb making techniques; Shymlal Sahu, owner of a mobile phone shop in Bhopal who allegedly planted the bomb, and Rakesh Dhawade, a Pune-based weapons expert who is accused of helping the conspirators procure weapons.  















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