High court grants bail to two Malegaon blast accused

August 3rd, 2011 - 7:25 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, Aug 3 (IANS) The Bombay High Court Wednesday granted bail to two prime accused in the September 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, spelling a setback to the National Investigation Agency which is probing the matter.

Granting bail of Rs.100,000 each to Shyam Sahu and Shivnarain Kalsangra, Justice A.M. Thipsay observed that there is no material evidence available to connect them to the blast.

“There is no sufficient material to show their prima facie involvement in the blast case,” he said, granting bail to the two who are in custody for nearly three years.

Besides, the judge observed, the duo, in custody since October 2008, had not taken active part in the blast conspiracy. Their sole link to the blast was that they were acquainted with another prime accused, Ramchandra Kalsangra, who is still untraced and on tne run.

The judge added that the NIA, which recently took over the probe from the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS), has not been able to present specific evidence against the two man but claiming the investigations are still in progress.

Since the trial in the case has not yet begun, it is not required for the accused to languish in jail, Justice Thipsay said.

On Sep 29, 2008, a powerful blast took place in the minority dominated Malegaon town of Nashik district, killing six and injuring over a hundred others.

Later, the state ATS, headed by Hemant Karkare, nabbed 12 people, including Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur and Lt. Col. Prasad S. Purohit.

They were booked under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and various provisions of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

However, the trial in the case has yet to start since some of the accused, including the Sadhvi and Lt. Col. Purohit, have challenged the MCOCA charges slapped on them.

The Sadhvi’s case is scheduled to come up before the Supreme Court Aug 17, said her lawyer Ganesh Sovani.

Even Purohit’s bail application and challenge to the MCOCA provisions will come up before the high court soon.

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