An accused in the 2012 Pune blasts, which had injured one person, has sought bail before a special court in Mumbai, claiming that the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) does not apply in the case.
Imran Pathan, a real estate agent from Nanded, was arrested on December 20, 2012 on charges that he had purchased ball bearings used in the making of the IEDs planted at Jungli Maharaj Road in Pune.
Four low-intensity blasts took place in Pune on August 1, 2012, injuring one person. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) claimed that Pathan and seven others arrested in the case along with wanted accused Riyaz Bhatkal of the Indian Mujahideen had conspired to carry out the blasts to avenge the death of Qateel Siddiqui, an undertrial in a terror case, who was killed in a Pune prison in 2012.
The men have been booked under IPC sections including attempt to murder and criminal conspiracy, MCOCA and Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
In his bail application filed through advocates I A Khan and Faizaan Qureshi, Pathan has claimed that MCOCA cannot be invoked in the case. “Organised crimes of MCOCA does not include unlawful activities (terrorist activities),” the plea states. It further says MCOCA was invoked in the case based on a previous case filed against Bhatkal in Gujarat and hence it cannot be used in a special Act specifically made for the state of Maharashtra.
Pathan has also claimed that the prosecution has no evidence apart from confessional statements, which were not recorded as per law. He claimed even if the statements are considered by the court at the prima facie stage, it shows he was not aware of the use of the ball bearings in the assembling and preparation of bombs.
The ATS claims Pathan had conducted recce of the western suburbs of Mumbai and also visited several shops on Grant Road to purchase an item for the preparation of the bombs but couldn’t buy it.