Malegaon blasts: This tale of two chargesheets baffles Bombay HC
The Malegaon blasts case of 2006 has seen many twists and turns. The case originally investigated by the Maharashtra ATS was then handed over to the National Investigation Agency.
Ironically, with two probe agencies came two chargesheets as well. This development has baffled the Bombay High Court which went on to ask how one case has two different sets of accused and multiple findings.
The observation was made by a Division Bench comprising, Justices Naresh Patil and Nitish Sambre while hearing a discharge petition filed by 8 Muslims who were arrested by the ATS. The Bench is also hearing petitions filed by four accused persons arrested by the NIA.
How could the four accused persons who were not named either by the ATS or CBI be chargesheeted by the NIA. How can the conclusions of the NIA be different from the ATS, the court asked.
Counsel for the NIA said that the four accused were held as the bi-cycles used in the blast had led the agency up to them. The state of Maharashtra argued that the trial court ought to have considered the charges filed by the ATS, NIA and CBI, instead of discharging nine accused in the case.
The blast on September 8 2006 killed 31 persons and injured over 300. The ATS arrested nine Muslims and the CBI which also probed the case concurred with this finding. The case was then handed over to the NIA which gave a clean chit to the nine accused.