Maharashtra questioned on Pragya Singh’s bail plea

August 30th, 2010 - 11:37 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Aug 30 (IANS) The Supreme Court Monday issued notice to the Maharashtra government on a bail petition filed by Sadhvi Pragaya Singh Thakur, the main accused in the 2008 Malegaon bombing which killed six people.

An apex court bench of Justice J.M. Panchal and Justice Gyan Sudha Misra issued the notice after senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani told the court that after being picked up from Surat by the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra Police, Pragaya Thakur was kept in illegal detention for 14 days Oct 10-23, 2008. She was taken from Surat to Pune.

When Jethmalani told the court that Pragya Thakur was denied access to her lawyer right upto Nov 3, 2008, Justice Panchal said that she could have raised the issue of illegal detention and denial of legal access when she was produced before the magistrate Oct 23, 2008.

Justice Panchal said that it could be an after thought.

Jethmalani told the court that the Maharashtra ATS had never denied his client’s claim of illegal detention and denial of legal assistance.

According to the ATS, Pragya Thakur was arrested under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) Oct 23, 2008.

The court was told that Pragya Thakur was being projected as the face of “saffron terror” whereas the only thing against her was that her motorcycle was used in the commissioning of the crime.

The senior counsel told the court that Pragya Thakur could not apply for bail on merit as the trial in the case was stayed after the imposition of MCOCA against her was challenged in the Bombay High Court. However, after one year the high court upheld invoking of the MCOCA against her.

He bail plea was rejected by the Bombay High Court March 12. The MCOCA court rejected her bail plea July 7, 2009.

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