Court grants bail to Saquib Nachan, Mulund blast accused

Mumbai, Jan 31 (PTI) The special Prevention of TerrorismAct (POTA) court today granted bail to Saquib Nachan, akey-accused in the 2003 Mulund train blast case, eight yearsafter he was arrested.

Special POTA judge R G Avachat granted bail in the sum ofRs one lakh to Nachan, who is the seventh accused to get bailin the case.

He had sought bail arguing, among other things, that hewas in custody since 2003, and trial had not yet started.

"The contention of all the accused in the case is thatthey have been in a pre-trial detention and therefore theyshould be granted bail", said defence advocate Mubin solkar.

Advocate Solkar also said that the court had stayed theorder to enable the prosecution to file appeal in High Court.

Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian said that she wasnot aware of the grounds of bail.

Solkar said that Nachan does not have any other casepending against him.

In a combined chargesheet filed in the Mulund, Vile Parleand Mumbai Central blast cases (which are being triedtogether) the 16 accused are facing charges under POTA andExplosive Substances Act; in addition to charges ofpreparation to wage war against the nation'' and criminalconspiracy'' under the Indian Penal Code.

The Mulund blast occurred on March 13, 2003, killing 11persons and injuring 71. Earlier, on December 6, 2002 severalpersons were injured in a blast at McDonald''s outlet at MumbaiCentral station, while one person died when a bomb exploded inmarket area in Vile Parle (East) on January 27, 2003.

Prosecution contends that all the three blasts werecarried out by the same group.

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