Mumbai, Feb 3: In a reprieve for the accused in the Malegaon blasts case, the National Investigation Agency has indicated that it does want to press charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA).
The NIA however states that the decision is still pending and they would drop the charges provided an opinion by the Attorney General of India is given.
On September 29 2008 a blast ripped Malegaon in Maharashtra in which 4 persons died and 79 others were injured. The case first investigated by the Maharashtra ATS was later transferred to the NIA. The NIA has named 11 accused in the case including Sadhvi Pragya Singh and Lt. Col. Srikant Purohit.
NIA awaiting advise
While the NIA feels that the MCOCA need not be applied against the 11 accused in the case, it has however decided to await the opinion of the Attorney General. The NIA had written to the AG seeking his opinion whether this is a fit case to drop the charges under MCOCA.
The NIA court which was to begin filing charges had to adjourn the matter following this submission by the prosecutor. The NIA prosecutor told the court that it would be able to argue any further on the matter until they get the AG's advise on the matter.
The provisions under MCOCA are extremely stringent in nature and is made applicable in terror cases most of the time. Under this act a confession made before a police officer in the rank of a superintendent of police is admissible before the court.
The court while accepting the prosecutions contention posted the matter to February 15 for hearing. The court however stated that the AG's opinion should be available by February 15th failing which it would proceed with the hearing.