Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Wednesday stayed a 2017 order of a special court that permitted the use of photocopied statements of witnesses and confessions of accused as secondary evidence in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

In an interim order, a bench of justices A S Oka and A S Gadkari said the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court should not have passed the order and it was bad in law. The bench also noted that it was the duty of the NIA, the prosecuting agency in the case, to point out the mistake to the court in permitting the use of unverified photocopies as secondary evidence.

The bench was hearing an appeal filed by Sameer Kulkarni, a co-accused in the case, challenging the 2017 order of the special court that permitted the use of photocopies of statements of witnesses and confessions of accused, as secondary evidence in the case. According to NIA counsel Sandesh Patil, the high court will now hear the NIA on March 4 on its objection to Kulkarni’s petition.