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Malegaon case: Bombay HC asks NIA if it sought permission to truncate documents

Press Trust of India  |  Mumbai 

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) if it had sought permission to truncate the documents and witnesses' statements that were part of the 2008 Malegaon blast case charge sheet.

A division bench of Justices A S Oka and Ajey Gadkari was hearing an application filed by one of the accused, Lt Col Prasad Purohit, seeking non-truncated copies of the documents and statements of witnesses.

Purohit had earlier filed the application in the high court challenging the applicability of provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the case.

His advocate, Shrikant Shivade, told the court on Tuesday that when the first probe agency, the state Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), filed its charge sheet in the case, several documents and witnesses' statements were truncated or masked.

He claimed that the agency never sought the court's permission to truncate or mask the documents and had done so at its own discretion.

The bench then sought to know if the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which is now the prosecuting agency, had taken court's permission for it.

"Has the court passed any order allowing the documents and statements to be truncated? Or has the prosecution filed any application before the court to this effect? The investigating officer does not have the powers to truncate documents like this," Justice Oka said.

The bench directed NIA lawyer Sandesh Patil to take instructions from the officers concerned and posted the matter for further hearing on February 26.

Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a town about 200 km from here in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.

In October last year, a special court had framed charges under the UAPA against Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and some other accused persons in the case.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, February 05 2019. 16:35 IST