The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

January 22, 2009

Malegaon blast accused to be tried under MCOCA

A Special court on Thursday held that charging the Malegaon blast accused under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) was valid.

All the accused in the blast are henceforth to be tried under the act. They include Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Lieutenant Colonel Purohit, Ajay Rahirkar and Sudhakar Dwivedi alias Dayanand Pandey among others.

The accused's lawyer had filed an application in the court, demanding that the provisions of MCOCA shouldn't be applied on the accused. But the court dismissed the application and said that MCOCA was applicable in the case.

The court passed the order today. It comes as a setback to the accused who have hired a battery of top lawyers including Mahesh Jethmalani to defend them. Under MCOCA, the accused's confession in police custody is considered an admissible evidence in the court.

Earlier, the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had filed a charge sheet against the 11 persons accused in the Malegaon blast. The conspiracy was to avenge the terrorist attacks by Islamist organisations and later turn India into Hindu rashtra, according to the 4000 page charge-sheet filed in the court.

TIH Bureau

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