Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Friday stayed
the granting of custody of three key accused in the September
2008 Malegaon bomb blast case to the National Investigation
Justice BR Gavai granted stay after the three accused -
Lt Col Prasad Purohit, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay and
Sudhakar Dwivedi alias Dayanand Pandey - approached the court
challenging the NIA custody stating their petition challenging
invocation of MCOCA was pending before the Supreme Court.
A special court had last week allowed NIA, which has
taken over the blast case from the ATS, to take custody of the
trio from July 22 for eight days, for interrogation.
"Justice Gavai has stayed the custody for two weeks
after observing that a full bench of the High Court is
deciding on another matter pertaining to the pecuniary
(monetary) benefit section of MCOCA," special NIA prosecutor
Rohini Salian said.
Lawyers for the accused told the court today that their
petition challenging the provisions of MCOCA is pending before
the Supreme Court.
The matter will be heard after two weeks.
According to the charge sheet filed by ATS, which was
handling the probe earlier, Purohit, along with 11 others, had
masterminded and carried out the blast on September 29, 2008,
in which six persons were killed in the powerloom town in
Purohit, arrested on November 5, 2008, has been
charged with being one of the main conspirators. He is also
accused of procuring the explosives used in the blast and is
alleged to be the founder of the right-wing group Abhinav
Bharat, which was formed in 2007.