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HC reserves order on Sadhvi Pragya's bail plea

February 09, 2010 15:47 IST
The Bombay High Court has reserved its order on the bail plea of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, prime accused in the September 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case.After the trial court rejected her bail plea, Sadhvi moved the high court seeking liberty on the ground that the charge sheet had not been filed within the stipulated 90-day period.

After hearing arguments of prosecution and accused, Justice S C Dharmadhikari reserved the order on Monday. Sadhvi's counsel Mahesh Jethmalani argued that she was illegally detained for 14 days by police before her arrest in this case.He submitted that Pragya was picked up by the Anti-Terrorism Squad on October 10, 2008, whereas their record shows that she was arrested on October 23.

If she was actually taken into custody on October 10, the charge sheet should have been filed by January 9. Since it was filed 10 days later, she is entitled to bail, he claimed.  The ATS, on the other hand, contended that she was not illegally detained, but was interrogated for 10 days prior to her arrest.

Government counsel Amit Desai argued that even if there were irregularities, the consequences could not be the release of the accused because she was facing grave charges. Sadhvi and 10 others are accused of masterminding and carrying out the Malegaon blasts on September 29, 2008, in which six persons were killed.

Claiming that Sadhvi was detained illegally by ATS, which probed the Malegaon blast case, her lawyer argued that even her interrogation was illegal because a woman cannot be summoned to police station for mere questioning.The ATS started probing her role in the blast conspiracy after finding out that the motorcycle on which the bomb was planted belonged to her.

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