The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is considering the validity of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), 1999, charges in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
On September 29, 2008, a bomb planted in a motorcycle went off in Malegaon, killing six persons and injuring 101. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had arrested 11 people for their alleged roles in the blasts in the October and November 2008, which included Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and serving army officer Lt Col Prasad Purohit.
In January 2009, the ATS filed a chargesheet against all the accused under the MCOCA. However, in 2011, all the terror cases found related to “saffron groups” were transferred to the NIA.
Special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal on Tuesday told the court that the law officers, who are supervising the case, have questioned the applicability of the charges of the MCOCA to the case.
The special court constituted for the case, was to frame the charges, where the prosecution moved an application for adjournment.
In the application, the prosecuting agency said the investigating officers and the law officers working on the case have raised objections on the validity of the application of the MCOCA in the entire case.
It was stated that the officers of the NIA have placed the issue before the attorney general to give opinion on the issue. The further division will be taken based on the opinion of the AG.
The special public prosecutor contended that as the charges are under consideration, it would be proper to adjourn the case till decision is taken on the issue.
The court, after considering the question, raised a query and asked the special public prosecutor about who has opined about the non-applicability of the MCOCA to the case.
To which, the special public prosecutor said the investigating officer, who is in-charge of the case and the law officers, have advised that the provisions are not applicable. He said the matter is now before the attorney general to decide.
The court, after considering the aspect, has adjourned the hearing to February 15.