The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Friday sought more time to file a chargesheet in the alleged arms haul and terror plot case involving Hindutva groups.
The ATS has filed an application stating that as the investigation in the case is still ongoing and crucial evidence is being gathered, it should be granted a further 90-day period to file the chargesheet.
Under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), applied on the accused men, an investigating agency can be granted up to 180 days to file a chargesheet as against the usual limit of 90 days. The investigators, however, need to seek an extension from the special court hearing the case, which may allow them the plea based on whether reasonable grounds were made out to seek more time.
On Friday, after the ATS moved an application, Special Judge V S Padalkar directed the lawyers of the accused to file a reply. The plea will be heard next week.
On August 10, the ATS had arrested three men — Vaibav Raut, a member of the Hindu Govansh Raksha Samiti, Sharad Kalaskar and Sudanva Gondhalekar — allegedly with a huge consignment of arms and ammunition, including materials to make guns and crude bombs.
The ATS arrested Shrikant Pangarkar, a former Shiv Sena corporator and other accused. Some of the accused have also been named in the alleged murders of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune and journalist Gauri Lankesh in Karnataka. The ATS claims that the men had conspired to target individuals and places perceived by them to be against “Hindu culture and traditions”. The court will hear arguments on the ATS plea on November 2. ENS