A special court Tuesday dropped charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) against a prime accused in Pune’s J M Road serial blasts case of 2012.
The accused, Firoz alias Hamza Abdul Hameed Sayeed (38), however, continues to face charges under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Sayeed was arrested for allegedly conspiring and planting bombs at two of the six targeted spots on Junglee Maharaj (JM) Road. Five of the six bombs exploded on August 1, 2012.
Sayeed was arrested by the Delhi Police Special Cell on December 12, 2012 along with four others.
Later, he moved an application claiming he was booked for committing the same crime under the MCOCA, a special state enactment, and also the central UAPA.
Sayeed’s lawyer Mehmood Pracha argued that the accused in the case were booked under the two laws for the same offence even when the UAPA covered every aspect of the alleged crime.
“According to the chargesheet, the accused participated in a terror activity and waged war against the nation. This comes under the purview of the UAPA. The Maharashtra Anti-terrorism Squad (ATS) has applied MCOCA for the same crime, stating that the accused have participated in an organised crime. We had challenged the validity if MCOCA in the case,” Pracha said.
While dropping charges under the MCOCA against Sayeed, special judge A L Pansare granted a four-week stay on the order, during which the prosecution could decide whether or not to contest the order in the High Court.
According to the ATS chargesheet, Sayeed had planted two bombs on bicycles that he had also helped purchase.
Sayeed allegedly came in contact with the other accused – Asad Khan, Imran Khan, Irfan Landge and Sayyed Aarif – in Aurangabad in 2009 and was indoctrinated at this meeting. The ATS has arrested eight people and named five others as absconding accused.