The Special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA)
Court in Mumbai will hear the bail application of the nine Muslim
accused arrested in the 2006 Malegaon blast case October 31 in the
The nine Muslim accused in jail
since 2006 had filed bail application on October 01.
Their earlier bail-application filed
after Swami Aseemanand's confession was rejected by the same court
in March 2011.
The nine Muslim accused filed the
fresh application for bail after the case was handed over to the
National Investigating Agency (NIA). The NIA after taking over the
case conducted polygraph and brain mapping tests on the accused
and reportedly found nothing.
Earlier, Swami Aseemanand, arrested
in Ajmer and Samjhauta blasts had claimed that the 2006 Malegaon
blast was also carried by the Hindutva terrorists.
Meanwhile, the National
Commission for Minorities has asked the government to ensure that
the Muslim accused are released at the earliest.
NCM chairman Wajahat Habibullah recently wrote to the ministries
of home and law, asking them to proactively intervene and clear
the way for bail to be granted.
“We have learnt that the NIA has carried out polygraph tests and
found nothing. So, I have formally asked the government to end the
suffering of these young men. After all, five years in prison is a
full prison term in many offences. The longer this process takes,
the more negative is the impact on the Muslim community,
particularly among the youth,” The Sunday Express quoted Habibullah.
The commission wants the National Investigation Agency to spell
out its stand. The NIA, which is the third agency looking at the
same evidence, has been saying that it has not investigated the
matter enough to give a “clean chit” to the nine accused, but is
unlikely to oppose their bail plea at Monday's hearing.
Despite assurances from ministers and other politicians, the
matter remains caught in investigations and legal formalities. The
Maharashtra ATS, which had filed a chargesheet, found it difficult
to retract after Aseemanand confessed that rightwing Hindu groups
had carried out the bombings. It sought a copy of the confession,
which the court could not authorise for the technical reason that
the matter was being heard in another court.
It was also pointed out that the CBI, which had subsequently got
charge of the case, too had filed a chargesheet against the nine
Muslim youths. CBI director AP Singh appeared before the NCM along
with the investigating officer and argued that the agency could
not suddenly drop the charges.
After much persuasion, it was agreed that the CBI would not oppose
the bail plea. Matters went according to this understanding in the
next hearing three months ago, but the MCOCA court still refused
to grant bail.
One of the principal reasons for this was the fact that in March,
the home ministry had transferred the case to the NIA. So the
process started again, and Habibullah discussed the issue afresh
with NIA officials, who said they would have to re-examine the