Maharashtra appeals against MCOCA repeal and says that MP Govt helping Hindutva terrorists

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Government on 24 August filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court challenging the revocation of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) provisions in the September 2008 Malegaon blasts case.

On 31 July, The Court had dropped MCOCA against Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col S P Purohit and nine other accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case. But the designated Judge Y D Shinde, presiding over the special MCOCA court, however, rejected the bail plea of Purohit. Shinde observed that none of the accused are part of an "organised crime syndicate". He also observed that none of the accused had more than one charge sheet filed against him or her -- a prerequisite for invoking provisions of MCOCA. As provisions of IPC would apply now, the case would be heard by a sessions court in Nashik.

On August 2, Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan had said that his government would challenge the verdict given by the Special Court.

On August 24, questioning the negation of the provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the Sep 2008 Malegaon blasts case, state government filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court. The state government said in its appeal that the court order was "unconstitutional and bad in law".

Maharashtra government had availed of the services of top lawyers to prepare its case including the former solicitor general of India, Harish Salve, Justice Nikanj (Retd), Advocate Amit Desai etc. The state government said that the accused persons were complicit in serious crimes and terrorist activities. Hence they should be tried under strict provisions of MCOCA and MCOCA should be invoked against them.  

Maharashtra's home minister, Mohammad Arif Naseem Khan said that he had told Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan that he has come to know through secret source that three absconding colleagues of Sadhvi are hiding in Madhya Pradesh and that the state's BJP government is providing them shelter. He said that Maharashtra's ATS tried to take action against the three absconders many times but could not arrest them because of MP police's non-cooperative attitude. He said that the MP police leaks the news which helps the culprits in changing their place of hiding. He said that if these people are arrested, bomb blasts that had taken place earlier in various states can be cracked. He said that ATS chief has been told that if help of CBI, IB etc is needed, central government will be approached for this. (NA Ansari)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-30 September 2009 on page no. 9

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