A SPECIAL court has granted a 30-day extension to the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) on Saturday for filing a chargesheet in the alleged arms haul and terror plot case, involving Hindutva groups.
Special Judge V S Padalkar observed that since investigation in the case is still continuing, opportunity should be given to the ATS to probe the case further before a chargesheet is filed. The ATS had last week sought 90 days to file the chargesheet under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, which grants such a provision.
Special Public Prosecutor Raja Thackre had submitted before the court that the sanction under UAPA against the accused is yet to be received.
He also said that the forensic reports on various aspects of the probe have also not been received yet by the investigators to complete the probe.
The defence advocates, representing the accused, objected to the extension stating that the men have already spent nearly three months in custody.
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 material to make guns and crude bombs.
The ATS subsequently arrested Shrikant Pangarkar, a former Shiv Sena corporator and other accused including Amol Kale, Amit Baddi, Ganesh Miskin, Avinash Pawar, Sujeeth Kumar, Bharat Kurne, Vasudev Suryavanshi and Leeladhar Lodhi.
Some of these accused have also been named in the 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 has slated the case for hearing now on December 7.