Mumbai: A special NIA court on Wednesday rejected the discharge application of seven accused, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Col Prasad Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case.
Since the court has not dropped charges of criminal conspiracy and murder, the convicts could be awarded capital punishment if the charges are proved.
However, the removal of the stringent MCOCA charges would mean that the prosecution would not be able to use the confession of the accused against other accused, which would make its task more difficult.
The NIA investigation has contradicted the ATS on several counts resulting in the dilution of sections from the case and the court on Wednesday decided to drop certain sections from the accused.
The court also said the UAPA sections 17, 20 and 23 have been dropped against all accused. These sections relate to raising funds for a terrorist organisation, being part of a terrorist organisation and aiding someone who is part of a terrorist organisation. This part of the ruling gives relief to the saffron outfit Abhinav Bharat, which was accused by Mumbai ATS of providing arms training to right-wing activists.
Special judge discharged Shiv Narayan Kalsangra, Sham Bhawarlal Sahu and Pravin Takalki as it found no evidence against them in the 2008 blast case....