A special court granted the National Investigation Agency (NIA) the custody of Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Dayananad Pandey and retired Major Ramesh Upadhyaya, the three prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case.
The court granted the custody of the trio from July 22 onwards for eight days. The application seeking their custody was filed by the NIA a month after they took over the investigation into the case from the state Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS).
The NIA said they wanted to interview the trio as new evidence gathered had led the team onto new leads in the case.
They also said they wanted to probe the three accused together.
The defence argued that the NIA should not be granted their custody, as the agency is known for extracting confessions using coercive methods and that the ATS had already interrogated the three accused previously.
The NIA has previously been accused of using force by two other accused, Jagdish Mhatre and Praveen Venkatesh Takalki alias Pravin Mutalik, who had moved the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court claiming that they had been threatened into turning “approvers” by the agency inspite of cooperating with them.