Sadhvi sold motorcycle used to plant bomb

Prime accused’s advocate tells HC that motorcycle was not in her custody

Updated - November 30, 2016 05:34 am IST

Published - November 30, 2016 12:00 am IST - MUMBAI

: The advocate of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the prime accused in the Malegaon 2008 blast case, informed the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that she sold the motorcycle used for planting the bomb to a garage owner who is also connected to the Malegaon blasts of 2006.

Senior counsel Avinash Gupta, appearing for Ms. Thakur, commencing his arguments before a Division Bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, said the motorcycle which was used to plant the bomb that killed six people and injured 101 in 2008 was not in her custody. It was, in fact, sold by Ms. Thakur in 2004 to a garage owner named Ramji, who is an absconding accused in the 2008 blast case, and is also connected to the 2006 Malegaon blasts.

Mr. Gupta contented that investigations have revealed that the motorcycle is not connected to the blasts. He then began reading out his statement to which Justice More pointed out that the statement was illegible, and directed that all statements of witnesses be typed out. He then adjourned the matter to December 16.

Bail plea hearing

In a related development, Nisar Ahmed Sayyed Bilal, a victim of the 2008 blast and represented by a lawyer, told the court that she wanted to file an intervention. She had also filed an intervention before the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, which was rejected.

The court on Tuesday was hearing the bail plea of Ms. Thakur, who moved HC after the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court denied her bail. Ms. Sadhvi had moved the HC on August 22 stating that the special NIA court had failed to take into consideration the change in circumstances between November 2015 — when her last bail plea was rejected — and June 2016.

On May 13, the central agency filed its supplementary chargesheet, which dropped charges under the stringent MCOCA law against Ms. Sadhvi and five others. Ms. Sadhvi was chargesheeted by the Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad in 2009, stating that it was her motorcycle that was used to plant the bomb used in the attack. The NIA had found evidence against her to be the weakest and said it was not substantial. In its supplementary charge-sheet, the agency also said that the motorcycle, which was registered in her name, was used by an absconding accused.

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