Investigations can continue in the September 2008 Malegaon blast case, the Bombay High Court clarified on Tuesday.
The division bench of Justice Bilal Nazki and Justice A R Joshi said there was no stay on the investigation in the case and the Anti-Terrorism Squad can carry on further investigations even under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).
The HC was hearing an appeal filed by the state government challenging the dropping of the Act from the case.
The HC, upon the request made by senior counsel for government Harish Salve, said the trial court’s order will not interfere with the investigation under MCOCA till further orders.
Salve argued that further investigations were necessary as three accused were still absconding.
On July 31, the special trial court held that 11 accused in the blast case, including sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, cannot be tried under the stringent Act.
Seven people were killed in the September 29, 2008, blast at Malegaon, a textile town near Nashik.
The government contended that the special court judge assumed the power of the high court under Section 482 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Only the high court and the Supreme Court can quash the sanction orders. The next hearing is on October 6.