MCOCA inapplicable in 2008 Malegaon blasts case: NIA to court

Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) today told a special court here that it was of the opinion that stringent MCOCA was not applicable in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case and the Attorney General's opinion is being sought in this regard.

Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur of a right wing group are among the accused in the case.

"The prosecution is awaiting necessary advice from senior supervisory officers and law officers at NIA, New Delhi, and they are now of the opinion that MCOCA is not invokable in  he instant case," the NIA told the special court Judge S D Tekale.

"Since the issue is important, it has been referred to the Ministry of Home Affairs with the request that the opinion of the Attorney General of India (AGI) should be obtained in this matter," it added.

The court adjourned the case till February 15 after Special Public Prosecutor Avinash Rasal sought it saying that they were waiting for the AGI's reply to NIA's letter.

The court had fixed the matter today for framing of charges in the case. However, the judge adjourned the hearing till February 15 and told the prosecution that if the agency fails to file a report till the next date of hearing, then it would go ahead with the case.

Meanwhile, Aparna Purohit, wife of accused Prasad Shrikant Purohit, told reporters that with NIA's letter being sent to the AGI, the case has come full circle as the MCOCA court had dropped the stringent law from the case in 2009 but the Bombay High Court had reversed the order.

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