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Malegaon blast: Victims object to Pragya’s bail plea

Court admits application opposing bail for former prime suspect; victims’ lawyer questions NIA investigation.

mumbai Updated: Jun 17, 2016 23:52 IST
Pragya Singh,NIA,MCOCA
Residents and police officers clear debris at a blast site in Malegaon, about 260 km (162 miles) northeast of Mumbai on September 30, 2008.(REUTERS)

The court set up to hear the 2008 Malegaon blast case on Friday allowed an application by the victims, objecting to Pragya Singh’s bail application.

Read more: NIA will not oppose Pragya’s bail plea in Malegaon blasts

Malegaon blast victim seeks dismissal of NIA charge sheet

Advocate Sharif Shaikh, representing the victims also questioned the probe of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). On May 13, the NIA had submitted a supplementary chargesheet giving a clean chit to six accused, including Pragya, and also recommended that all the charges against them be dropped.

The central agency said the shoddy probe by Maharashtra authorities forced the U-turn. It added that the provisions of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) were not applicable to the case.

After getting a clean chit from the NIA, Pragya had applied for bail. Her advocate J P Mishra had on May 30 filed a bail application on the ground that the

NIA had not pressed charges against her owing to a lack of evidence, and because of her deteriorating health. The defense pleaded that she had no knowledge of how her motorbike was used in the blast and said she had never given her consent for this. He said that the bike had been sold long before the incident.

Meanwhile, 64-year old businessman Nisar Bilal had on June 8 moved an application before the special court

seeking to include the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) as a party to the case and to hear the agency that had booked Pragya in the blast case.

The NIA, which took over the investigation after the ATS and gave a clean chit to Pragya, had objected to Bilal’s plea. The agency said the ATS no longer had a say after it took over the case. The court considered the objection of the NIA and rejected Bilal’s plea.

The arguments will continue on Saturday.

First Published: Jun 17, 2016 23:52 IST