The NIA on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that it has “no objection” to the Court granting bail to Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, arrested in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case.
Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for the NIA, told the court that the investigating agency had already said in its chargesheet that it did not have any evidence against Thakur.
Besides, Singh said, the stringent charge of MCOCA, imposed by the ATS upon Thakur and her co-accused had already been dropped by the NIA following a “recommendation by the Apex Court,” and thus, the restrictions imposed on an accused person’s bail by MCOCA didn’t exist any more.
Singh also submitted that “even before the NIA took over the probe, several witnesses examined by the ATS had already retracted their statements and alleged they had been tortured and coerced into testifying by ATS.”
All the above factors, Singh said, were adequate grounds for Thakur to seek bail and for the court to consider her plea. “We thus, have no objection,” he said.
The submissions came while the court was hearing an appeal filed by Thakur challenging a lower court order rejecting her bail plea.
Thakur has claimed that the trial court in rejecting her bail plea on June 28 last year, committed an error in law.
She has claimed that the special court failed to take into consideration the “change in circumstances” between November 2015 — when her last bail plea was rejected — and June 2016.
In November 2015, following an order of the apex court, Thakur had filed a bail application before the special NIA court that was rejected after the court held that there was prima facie evidence against her.
In May this year, NIA filed a charge sheet in the case absolving Thakur of all charges. The NIA also dropped the stringent charge of MCOCA against all accused and thus, rendered their confessional statements inadmissible as evidence.