THE CHARGESHEET filed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Friday in the 2008 Malegaon blasts is nothing but the agency’s opinion on which the court has to take a decision, according to Rohini Salian, former special public prosecutor in the case.
“This chargesheet the NIA filed today is their opinion, it’s not a judgment. The order has to come from the court that will decide on the basis of evidence submitted to them earlier and now. They need to club the chargesheet filed earlier by the ATS and what has been given now by the NIA, and come to their own, independent conclusion and decision,” Salian told The Indian Express.
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In the second supplementary chargesheet, the NIA dropped charges against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and five other accused. The agency also dropped all charges under the stringent MCOCA law against 10 other accused, including Lt Col Prasad Purohit.
Salian had raised the first red flag in the case on June 24, 2015, when she told The Indian Express that as special public prosecutor, she had been under pressure from the NIA to go “soft” on the accused ever since “the new government came to power” at the Centre. In October, after she was removed as the case prosecutor, she named the NIA officer who had contacted her.
“What about the 5,000-page chargesheet filed earlier, with interception of calls and evidences from the laptop? The chargesheet was already filed by ATS in 2009 on the basis of which the case travelled up to the Supreme Court. Now the NIA are saying something else. But it’s not up to them to give a judgment about the ATS, they are not investigating the ATS, are they? They need to follow the procedure under law, and the CrPc prevalent in this country, which is binding on everyone. Only the court has the right to deliver the judgment based on evidence from all sides,” said Salian.
Asked if the NIA move had vindicated her stance on the case, Salian said that it was not up to her to make any comment.