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Malegaon blasts: Notice to Centre

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The Supreme Court on Friday (September 11) sought response from Centre and National Investigating Agency (NIA) on a plea challenging removal of Special Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case and alleging that Government was exerting pressure on her to “go soft” on the accused. A bench comprising Justices J Chelameswar and A M Sapre asked Centre and NIA to file their responses within one week. The bench, however, did not allow the submission of senior advocates Kapil Sibal and Indira Jaising that hearing on the bail applications of the accused persons be stayed for the time being. The bench has also issued notice to Maharashtra government in the case. Earlier, a Supreme Court Judge had recused from hearing the plea, saying that he had represented certain accused in the matter. The PIL, filed by social activist Harsh Mander, has accused NDA government of trying to interfere with the functioning of the prosecutor in the case by exerting “pressure” on her to “go soft” on the accused. It alleged that the executive was attempting to influence the judicial system. It has alleged that NIA officials had pressured erstwhile Special Public Prosecutor in case, Rohini Salian, “presumably” under instructions from their “political masters”.

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