Malegaon blast case: HC notice to NIA, ATS

The Bombay High Court Thursday issued notices to Maharashtra govt, NIA and the state ATS in connection with the malegaon blasts.

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Thursday issued notices to Maharashtra government, National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) on a petition filed by an accused in the September 2008 Malegaon blast case alleging that ATS officers had planted evidence to implicate certain persons in the case.

A division bench of Justices P V Hardas and Mridula Bhatkar also issued notices to the Director General of Police and Commissioners of Police of Mumbai and Nashik.

Sudhakar Chaturvedi, one of the accused in the blast case, sought a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to be constituted to probe the 2008 Malegaon blast case as ATS officers like API Bagade, PI Arun Khanwilkar and Sunil Yadav had committed serious offences by falsely implicating him and other accused like Lt Col Prasad Purohit.

Subhash Jha and Sanjiv Punalekar, advocates for Chaturvedi, pointed out to the court that Chaturvedi had collected several documents through RTI which shows that Chaturvedi was "kidnapped" by API Bagade on October 23, 2008.

"Thereafter he (Chaturvedi) was flown to Bhopal in a private plane under the false identity of Sangram Singh," argued Jha.
Chaturvedi has claimed in his petition that while he was in illegal custody of ATS, API Bagade had snatched his house keys and planted particles of RDX at his rented room in Deolali to implicate Purohit. Chaturvedi claims he was working as a part of "army intelligence team" along with Purohit.

The petition also included documents pertaining to Purohit`s court martial procedure which showed that the army officer was acquitted honourably on the basis of testimony of army officials who deposed against API Bagade?s illegal activities.
The high court directed the respondents to file their replies by June 26.

A bomb exploded in the textile town of Malegaon on the night of September 29, 2008 killing six persons and injuring 100 others. Twelve persons including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur were arrested in the case and charged under MCOCA.