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NIA Calls ATS's Malegaon Blast Probe 'Incoherent, Riddled with Loopholes'

NIA Calls ATS

Local residents and police officers clear debris at a blast site in Malegaon on September 30, 2008. (Photo: Reuters)

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Mumbai: The NIA on Thursday told the Bombay High Court that the probe conducted by the Maharashtra Anti- Terrorism Squad (ATS) in the September 2008 Malegaon blast case was "incoherent and riddled with loopholes".

NIA counsel Sandesh Patil on Thursday told a division bench of Justices R V More and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi that though the ATS theory was correct, the probe was not properly conducted.

"It was not coherent and thus NIA couldn't accept it as it was. We tried to fill those gaps when we took over the probe," Patil said.

The bench was hearing the appeal filed by one of the main accused Prasad Purohit challenging a sessions court order rejecting his bail application.

Advocate Patil was responding to the court's query on the need to re-examine ATS' witnesses. He said that the NIA had re-examined 504 witnesses of whom 149 were new.

Purohit has sought bail on the grounds that he has been in custody for eight long years and that the probe agency had not obtained proper sanction for his prosecution under the Unlawful Activities prevention Act.

The court will continue to hear arguments tomorrow.

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