The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the NIA, probing the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, to file its affidavit in response to an appeal filed by Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) challenging the discharge of eight accused in the case. The state had moved the high court in appeal against the order of sessions court discharging the eight accused.
In April, the sessions court discharged the eight men of all terror charges after the National Investigation Agency (NIA) submitted that the blasts were the handiwork of a Hindu extremist group. Seven of the Hindu accused have also approached the high court seeking bail.
A division bench of Justices R V More and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi on Monday asked NIA to file its affidavit in reply to the bail pleas as well, within two weeks. NIA counsel Prakash Shetty told the court that the agency has not been served a copy of the bail pleas and the ATS appeal.
The court directed for the petitions to be served to the NIA and sought its response. The serial bomb blasts outside a cemetery near Hamidia mosque at Malegaon, near Nashik, on September 8, 2006, claimed 37 lives and injured over 100 people.