Maha ATS used torture to get confessions: NIA

FPJ BureauUpdated: Friday, May 31, 2019, 03:26 PM IST
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Mumbai, India - 13 May. 2016: 2008 Malegeon Blast case accused being taken to a session court, in Mumbai, India, on Friday, May 13, 2016. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande) |

Mumbai :   In the supplementary charge sheet filed on Friday in a special court in the case of the 2008 blast in which seven people were killed, the NIA listed many “shortcomings” in the ATS’ investigations and claims how courts did not believe the confession statements of the accused.

The NIA said that accused Sudhakar Dwivedi when produced before the magistrate for confirmation of the confessional statement made by him, stated that his confession was the outcome of torture meted out to him.

The agency also said that “dubious” methods adopted during investigation by ATS become crystal clear from the disappearance of one of the main witness.

“The CBI during its investigation in the disappearance of the witness has submitted findings against the officers of the ATS Mumbai,” the agency said. “ATS Mumbai invoked MCOCA on the basis of the involvement of accused Rakesh Dhawade in the previous two blast cases i.e. Parbhani and Jalna in which the concerned courts had taken the cognisance. The way and circumstances in which the ATS invoked the provisions of MCOCA in this case becomes questionable”, the NIA charge sheet said.

According to the NIA charge sheet a case was registered in November 2003 in Parbhani bomb blasts. The charge sheet was filed against two accused persons Sanjay Choudhary and Himanshu Panse. While in September 2006 first supplementary charge sheet was filed against accused Maruthi Keshav Wagh and Yogesh Deshpande.

“The second supplementary charge sheet was filed against accused Dhawade on November 13, 2008 after his arrest on November 11, 2008 i.e within two days of his arrest (in Parbhani case),” the NIA said.

 “This raises considerable doubt on the integrity of invoking of MCOCA by ATS,” the charge sheet said.

The federal anti-terror agency also said that a case was registered in August 2004 in Jalna bomb blasts case against unknown persons and the charge sheet was filed against accused Maruti Keshav Wagh on September 30, 2006. Then the first supplementary charge sheet was filed against Yogesh Deshpande, Gururaj Jairam, Rahul Manohar Pandey and Sanjay Choudhary in the case on January 7, 2008.

“Second supplementary charge sheet was filed against accused Dhawde on November 15, 2008 on the day he was arrested in that (Jalna) case. It may be mentioned that in this case, no accused was shown as wanted in the earlier chargesheets,” the NIA document said.

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Embarrassment to the agency

Senior counsel Avinash Rasal who represents NIA in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, had no idea that the agnecy was about to file its chargesheet on Friday. The Special Public Prosecutor was kept in the dark and reportedly the agency asked public prosecutor Geeta Godambe to file the charge sheet in the special court.

This move of NIA has invited embarrassment to the agency as well to its special public prosecutor (Rasal) as he was kept in dark regarding the charge sheet. Earlier this week, Rasal had made a statement in the special court that the agency would file charge sheet in the last week of May but he was dumbstruck when the agency suddenly filed the charge sheet on Friday without informing him.

Rasal said, “They (NIA) didn’t informed me about filing the charge sheet and out of anguish I said that I would leave the case. But later they apologized for their action and now I have made up my mind to continue with the case.”

It must be recalled that NIA had earlier invited embarrassment when it had allegedly asked former prosecutor Rohini Salian to go ‘soft’ since majority of the accused in this case were from Hindu right wing groups.

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