Court to decide on validity of invocation of MCOCA in Malegaon blast case

January 21st, 2009 - 11:18 pm ICT by ANI  

Mumbai, Jan.21 (ANI): A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court will give its order over the validity of invocation of stringent provisions of MCOCA in the Malegaon blast case here on Thursday.
Special MCOCA Judge Y. D. Shinde, who was expected to pass the order on Wednesday, adjourned it till Thursday stating that the court needs to peruse the chargesheet.
On Tuesday, the Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) filed its chargesheet against 14 accused in the Malegaon bomb blast case charging them under MCOCA, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), Indian Penal Code (IPC), Arms Act and Explosive Substances Act.
Defence lawyers, however, had argued that before the court takes cognisance of the chargesheet, it should first look into the merits of invocation of MCOCA on the accused in the case.
MCOCA was invoked after one of the accused Rakesh Dhawde was chargehseeted in two other cases.
Advocate Shrikant Shivde representing Lt. Col Prasad Purohit, who had been accused as the main conspirator in the chargesheet, had argued that both the chargesheets against Dhawde were filed after the Malegaon blast on September 29.
“Dhawde was arrested and produced before a court in Nashik on November 15, 2008. On the same day, the prosecution filed a supplementary chargesheet against him in the 2004 Jalna blast case,” Shivde said.
He stated that the court had, however, taken cognisance of that chargesheet only on November 28 while the prosecution invoked MCOCA in the Malegaon case on November 20.
Another accuse Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakurs case is being represented by Advocated Mahesh Jethmalani in the court.
“Technically, prior to invocation of MCOCA, Dhawde had no chargesheet against him. Before invoking MCOCA in the case, the prosecution should have submitted the two orders passed by the court while taking cognisance of the two chargesheets against Dhawde,” Sadhvi’’s lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani aruged.
Special public prosecutor Rohini Salian, however, argued Dhawde had committed more than one offence and sanction for invocation of MCOCA was given after the competent authority, a senior IPS officer, perused the papers. (ANI)

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