Bombay High Court raps NIA for employing ‘delay tactics’ in Malegaon blast case

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday pulled up the National Investigating Agency (NIA) for employing “delay tactics” on a bunch of appeals filed by the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. A bench of justices AS Oka and AS Gadkari cautioned the agency that if it didn’t change its conduct, the high court will be forced to stay the trial in the case before the special court.

“You realise that a stay on the trial will end up benefiting the accused. However, if you continue your delay tactics, this court will be left with no choice,” the bench said. The observations came after NIA repeatedly justified the use of photocopies of some statements of witnesses and confessions of accused persons in the case.

On the previous hearing, the bench had observed that the special court should not have allowed the use of photocopies since there was no evidence to prove that the photocopied documents were authentic copies of the original, certified statements.

It had told NIA counsel Sandesh Patil that the agency should have pointed out the problem to the special court then and there and taken the correct legal stand by not relying on photocopies. However, Patil said Tuesday that since the special court had approved the use of the photocopies, the high court must dismiss the appeal challenging the special court order.

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