HC gives bail to four accused in 2006 Malegaon blasts case 

The serial bomb blasts outside a cemetery near Hamidia mosque at Malegaon near Nashik on September 8, 2006, claimed 31 lives and injured over 100 people

The Bombay High Court on Friday noted that the special court should not have ignored the reports submitted by the earlier investigating agencies.
The Bombay High Court on Friday noted that the special court should not have ignored the reports submitted by the earlier investigating agencies.
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PTI

The Bombay High Court on Friday granted bail to four accused in the 2006 Malegaon blasts case, holding that there were no reasonable grounds to believe that the accusations against them were prima facie true.

The "incriminating evidence" gathered by investigation agencies against nine others who had been made accused earlier, but discharged later, will also have to be "kept in mind" while dealing with the present bail pleas, the court also said.

A division bench of justices I A Mahanty and A M Badar granted bail to Dhan Singh, Lokesh Sharma, Manohar Narwaria and Rajendra Chaudhari.

"The applicants shall be released on cash bail of Rs 50,000. They shall attend the special court on each day during the trial and shall not tamper with evidence or contact witnesses," the bench said.

The four, who are in jail since their arrest in 2013, had approached the high court in 2016 after a special court rejected their bail pleas in June that year.

The serial bomb blasts outside a cemetery near Hamidia mosque at Malegaon near Nashik on September 8, 2006, claimed 31 lives and injured over 100 people.


"From the evidence and material available on record, it is not possible to conclude that there are reasonable grounds for believing that accusations against the appellants are prima facie true," the court said, adding that therefore, they are entitled to be released on bail.

The Maharashtra Police's Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), which first probed the case, had arrested nine accused from a minority community. The case was later handed over to the CBI, which followed the same line of investigation.

When the probe was taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), it concluded that the blasts were carried out by people belonging to the majority community.

The NIA decided to drop charges against the nine accused and booked Singh, Sharma, Narwaria and Chaudhari. The special trial court in 2016 accepted the NIA's stand and discharged the nine accused.

The special NIA court while rejecting the present four accused persons' bail pleas had held that there are reasonable grounds to believe that accusations were prima facie true.

The high court Friday, however, noted that the special court should not have ignored the reports submitted by the earlier investigating agencies (ATS and CBI).

"The special court is duty-bound to consider all reports, entire record and documents submitted by the Anti Terrorism Squad, CBI as well as the NIA," the HC said.

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