The Bombay high court on Thursday issued notices to Maharashtra government, National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on a petition filed by an accused in the September 2008 Malegaon blast case alleging that ATS officers had planted evidence to implicate certain persons in the case.
A division bench of justice PV Hardas and justice Mridula Bhatkar also issued notices to the director general of police and police commissioners of Mumbai and Nashik.
Sudhakar Chaturvedi, one of the accused in the blast case, sought a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to be constituted to probe the 2008 Malegaon blast as ATS officers like API Bagade, PI Arun Khanwilkar and Sunil Yadav had committed serious offences by falsely implicating him and other accused like Lt Col Prasad Purohit.
Subhash Jha and Sanjiv Punalekar, advocates for Chaturvedi, pointed out to the court that Chaturvedi had collected several documents through RTI which show that Chaturvedi was ‘kidnapped’ by API Bagade on October 23, 2008.
“Thereafter he [Chaturvedi] was flown to Bhopal in a private plane under a false identity [Sangram Singh],” Jha said.
Chaturvedi has claimed in his petition that while he was in illegal custody of ATS, API Bagade had snatched his house keys and planted particles of RDX at his rented room in Deolali to implicate Purohit. Chaturvedi claims he was working as part of the ‘army intelligence team’ along with Purohit.
The petition also included documents pertaining to Purohit’s court martial procedure which showed that the army officer was acquitted honourably on the basis of the testimony of army officials who deposed against API Bagade’s illegal activities.
The high court directed the respondents to file their replies by June 26.