Mumbai: Six years after 21 people were arrested in Aurangabad in connection with seizure of arms and ammunition allegedly being ferried by LeT operative and key 26/11 handler Abu Jundal, the special MCOCA court here today framed charges against them, paving way for start of trial.
All the accused pleaded not guilty before the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court.
The court rejected an application filed by Maharashtra ATS seeking postponement of framing of charges till charge sheet was filed against the recently arrested Jundal.
Jundal was arrested on August 13 in this case and would be in ATS custody till August 24.
The court framed charges against the other accused under MCOCA, Indian Penal Code and other acts.
On May 8, 2006, ATS team chased a Tata Sumo and an Indica car on Chandwad-Manmad road near Aurangabad and arrested three terror suspects, seizing 30 kg of RDX, 10 AK-47 rifles and 3,200 rounds.
The Indica was allegedly being driven by Jundal, native of Beed district of the state, who managed to give police a slip.
Jundal then drove to Malegaon, and handed over the vehicle to an acquaintance. In the same month, he escaped to Bangladesh, from where he fled to Pakistan with a fake passport, according to the Crime Branch of Mumbai police.
The trial in the arms haul case was stayed by the Supreme Court after one of the accused challenged the constitutional validity of certain provisions of MCOCA. In 2009, the apex court lifted the stay.