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Malegaon blast accused booked under MCOCA

Vicky Nanjappa | November 20, 2008 18:25 IST
Last Updated: November 20, 2008 20:07 IST


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The Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act has been invoked on all the 10 accused, including Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur, in connection with the Malegaon blast case.

Advocate for Sadhvi Pragnya Singh, Ganesh Sovani said that they would now move the high court challenging the actions of the Mumbai Anti -Terrorist Squad which decided to invoke MCOCA.

He told rediff.com that they had not received the certified copy of the order in which MCOCA was invoked.

"Only once I get a copy, I will move the high court challenging this," he said.

Sovani said that the Mumbai ATS had no case in hand to invoke the provisions of MCOCA on his client.

He also added that he would seek bail for his client only once the chargesheet was filed. Had the Mumbai ATS decided to proceed under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code or the Explosives Act , he stipulated time frame to file the chargesheet was by January 23.

However with MCOCA being invoked, the ATS gets an additional two months time to file the chargesheet against the Sadhvi.

WHAT ATS SAYS

The ATS has invoked Section 3 of the MCOCA pertaining to organised crime against the accused which includes a sadhvi, a self-styled religious leader and a serving army officer.

The Sections applied are 3(1)(i), which provides for a death penalty if the crime had led to death of an individual, 3(2) for life imprisonment for conspirators or abettors and 3(4) which provides for a minimum sentence of five years for anyone who is a member of the organised crime syndicate.

"All the accused had earlier been booked under sections of the IPC, Indian Explosives Act and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act," Joint Commissioner of Police (ATS) Hemant Karkare said.

The ATS has arrested 10 people so far and has also taken custody of another accused Sudhakar Chaturvedi, who was nabbed by the city police with a fake army identity card in his possession, Karkare said.

Eight of the accused are currently in judicial custody but further police custody can be sought to interrogate them under MCOCA, ATS officials said.

The ATS can also take up to six months to file the chargesheet in the case against the normal three months and confessions made to police officials above Superintendent of Police rank can be considered as evidence under MCOCA.

With PTI inputs

 






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