The special MCOCA court on Tuesday granted bail to a key accused in the 2008 Malegoan blast case after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) probing the case failed to file the charge sheet against him within 90 days of his arrest.
Lokesh Sharma, also accused in the Samjhauta blast case, was formally arrested for his alleged involvement in 2008 Malegaon blast by NIA on February 27. The agency alleged that Sharma, played an important role in the 2008 Malegaon blast.
While seeking Sharma’s custody, the agency claimed that Kamal Chauhan, an accused in Samjhauta blast case, had during the interrogation revealed the involvement of Sharma in the 2008 Malegaon blast. The NIA then arrested Sharma.
“The agency alleged Sharma was one of the planters in the case and also played a key role in planning the 2008 Malegaon blast,” said Arati Bhide, who had on Tuesday moved Sharma’s bail application.
“After the arrest of the accused, the agency had to file a charge sheet against Sharma within a period of 90 days, which got over on May 28. However, the agency failed to do so. Hence, on Tuesday, we moved the bail plea.”
On May 28, when the case was listed for further proceedings the court observed that the agency has neither sought for Sharma’s remand nor did it ask for extension to file charge sheet. The court ruled that Sharma is eligible to apply for default bail. Sharma is currently jailed in Hyderabad for his alleged involvement in the Mecca-Masjid blast.