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'Invoking MCOCA against the sadhvi is tough'

November 20, 2008
Do you think that the ATS will invoke the provisions of MCOCA on your client?

I really do not know (Editor's Note: The Mumbai ATS has since booked all the 10 accused in the case under MCOCA). But it is going to be tough to invoke these provisions. The ATS will have to first prove that two or more people have coordinated in order to commit this crime since the provisions deal with organised crime. If they are unable to do so then they will have to show before the court that there was a chargesheet filed against her in the past ten years. This means that they will have to show that my client has had a criminal record in the past. These are the pre-requisites to invoke the provisions of MCOCA. My client has no history of crime and there is also no chargesheet filed against her in the past. Hence in my view invoking these provisions are going to be tough.

If MCOCA is not invoked, what other charges is the ATS proposing to proceed against your client?

Provisions of the Indian Penal Code and the Explosives Act.

What exactly is the case against the sadhvi? What is your reading?

At the moment the ATS wants to link the vehicle used in the blast against her. She owned an LML Freedom two-wheeler. But since she was travelling most of the time, she hardly used the vehicle. In October 2004, she sold the vehicle to a person named Sunil Joshi (Joshi was allegedly killed earlier this year and according to his supporters he was killed by members of the Students Islamic Movement of India) for Rs 24,000. She had also signed the necessary forms for transfer of the vehicle. During interrogation she was repeatedly asked how the vehicle reached Malegaon and she asserted that since October, 2004 she had no control over the vehicle or its movements and usage.

Can I ask you something? If a person comes to your home for dinner and on his way back he commits a crime, can you be held responsible for the same?

Image: Lt Col Srikant Purohit, another accused in the case, arrives at a Mumbai hospital for a medical checkup.

Photograph: Shashank Parade/PTI Photo

Also read: 'My daughter Pragya is innocent'
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