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ATS begins process to file chargesheet

india Updated: Jan 20, 2009 13:29 IST

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The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Tuesday began the process to file its chargesheet against the 11 accused involved in the September 2008 Malegaon blast in which seven persons were killed.

The chargesheet will be filed by the ATS in the special MCOCA court presided by Judge YD Shinde against the accused which include a sadhvi, a self-proclaimed religious leader, a serving army official and members of a right wing group.

However, defence counsel representing the accused on Tuesday argued before the court that it should not take cognisance of the chargesheet being filed by the ATS.

The court should first evaluate if the application of the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against the accused is appropriate and only then take cognisance of the chargesheet, defence counsel Shrikant Shivade said.

The ATS invoked MCOCA on the Malegaon blast case on November 21.
The bail application of five prime accused in the September 29 Malegaon blast is also expected to come up for hearing before the court today.

The court is expected to hear the bail applications of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, serving army official Lieutenant Colonel P S Purohit and members of right wing groups Ajay Rahirkar, Shivnarayan Kalsangra and Sham Sahu.

A motorcycle laden bomb exploded in Malegaon on September 29 killing seven and injuring more than 70. The probe by the ATS had revealed the alleged involvement of right wing organisations like 'Abhinav Bharat' in carrying out the blast.