Human Rights

MCOCA must against Malegaon accused: HC

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on 19 July ruled that Sadhvi Pragya Sinh Thakur, Lt. Colonel Prasad Purohit and nine other accused will have to face charges under MCOCA for the Malegaon blasts conspiracy. A division bench consisting of Justice B H Marlapalle and Justice Anoop Mohta said that the trial judge had made blunders in dropping MCOCA charges against the accused in July 2009. The Court said the application of MCOCA by the prosecution was justified. Advocate Ganesh Sovani, counsel for the Sadhvi, said they would definitely challenge the verdict in the Supreme Court. The Sadhvi, Purohit and others were booked for the Malegaon blast on September 29, 2008, that killed six persons and injured 101 others at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of North Maharashtra, bringing into focus Hindu terrorist groups. On July 31 last year, a Special MCOCA court here had ruled that ATS had wrongly applied MCOCA in this case against Pragya, Purohit and nine others. Accordingly, the special court dropped MCOCA charges and the case was transferred to a Nasik court for trial under IPC. The trial of the case will now resume before a Special MCOCA court in Mumbai. The accused, currently lodged in Nasik Central Prison, would be brought to a jail here to stand the trial.    

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 August 2010 on page no. 11

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