Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has granted four weeks time to National Investigation Agency (NIA) to respond to Sadhvi Pragya Singh's application challenging the NIA's jurisdiction. The case will now be heard on the March 5.
In her petition filed in December 2012, Sadhvi had sought the court to quash an order passed in April 2012 transferring investigations into the blast case to the NIA by the government. According to her plea, the Central government cannot transfer investigations of a case without concurrence from the state government.
Sadhvi is the prime accused in the Malegaon blast case. The multiple bomb explosions in Malegaon, a communally sensitive powerloom town in Nashik district in northern Maharashtra, about 200 kms from Mumbai, had occurred near a mosque on September 8, 2006 killing 37 people and injuring over 100.
After the blasts, the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) had arrested nine suspects. However, the MCOCA court had granted bail to all of them on November 5, 2012. The probe into the blast was handed over to CBI which endorsed the ATS findings.
The case then went to NIA, which came into existence in 2009, post the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks. In November 2012, NIA had told the court that the confession of Swami Aseemanand, arrested in 2007 Hyderabad Mecca Masjid bomb blast case, pointed at the involvement of a right-wing group in the Malegaon attack.
(With Additional Inputs from PTI)