Thursday, June 30, 2016

Govt trying to save BJP-RSS members involved in terror cases : Congress - Muslim Mirror | NIA meddled in Malegaon case, motive dodgy: Ex-prosecutor By Swati Deshpande, TOI

Muslim Mirror

Govt trying to save BJP-RSS members involved in terror cases : Congress

June 30, 2016 in Home SliderIndian Muslim | 0 Comment
Sadhvi Pragya with MP CM Shivraj Singh and Rajnath Singh.
Sadhvi Pragya with MP CM Shivraj Singh and Rajnath Singh.
By Abdul Bari Masoud
New Delhi: In the wake of severe remarks against the National Investigation Agency (NIA) by a Mumbai Special Court in the Malegaon blast case, the opposition Congress party on Wednesday reiterated the demand of removing NIA chief from his position immediately and re-appointment of Rohini Salian as special public prosecutor in the case.  Accusing the Modi government of trying to save RSS-BJP members involved in terror cases, the party said the court remarks vindicated it observation the NIA has become  ‘Namo Investigation Agency’ and lost its credibility.  
Addressing media persons here,   Congress Spokesperson, Shobha Oza said the Modi government is playing with the security of the nation as it has been trying to save the prime accused in the bomb blast cases having affiliation with the BJP or RSS from the day one after coming to power at the centre.
She asked that Prime Minister Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh should explain to the country that in their Government who is the ‘manipulative hand’ in this case and carrying out the miscarriage of justice.
It is to mention that a Special Court in Mumbai came down heavily on the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for not investigating the role of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case and for re-recording of the statements of witnesses recorded earlier by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS). The court observed there were reasonable grounds to believe that the charges against her were prima facie true and rejected her bail plea.
Ironically in its charge sheet, the NIA had said there was no case made out against Sadhvi Pragya. Seven people were killed in the blast at Malegaon on September 29, 2008. Sadhvi Pragya was charged in 2009 by the ATS which said it was her motorcycle that was used to plant the bomb. On Tuesday, Special Judge S D Tekale said Sadhvi Pragya “cannot avoid her connection with the motorcycle” registered in her name and used in the blast.
The Court’s observations are a damning statement on the way the Malegaon blast case is being handled by the NIA. Earlier investigations done by the Maharashtra ATS under Martyred officer Hemant Karkare was rubbished by the NIA terming it ‘Dubious’ and ‘Questionable’. This clearly was an attempt to malign an officer of impeccable integrity.
In 2015, Rohini Salian, who was the Public Prosecutor in the Malegaon case, had spoken on affidavit that she was under pressure from the NIA to be lenient on the case. She had also filed an affidavit naming the NIA officer who had approached her. Salian was later de-notified from the panel of lawyers.
The Congress spokeswoman said now the Court has questioned the role of the NIA; the BJP   and the Government at the center need to answer the following questions;
  1. Was NIA under any pressure to play second fiddle to the BJP and its ministers?
  2. Are sensitive cases related to national security being deliberately manipulated to undermine law and justice?
  3. Who was behind the NIA officers who had contacted Rohini Salian, maligned Karkare and played a dangerous game? Shouldn’t there be a probe in the case in the spirit of probity and justice.
  4. We demand that the de-notification of specific lawyers from the NIA panel be probed thoroughly and prosecutors dropped deliberately be reinstated.
In response to a question, she said why the Modi government did not make public the B K Prasad report on Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case?  This government has been misleading and diverting the attention of the people from real issues by making baseless allegations, she added.
In reply to a question related to BJP president’s remark about the death of Shayma Prasad Mukherjee, Mrs.  Oza said, “whether any of their organization Members had raised the question then, when earlier reports of investigation had come in, then why were they silent all these years. Now the year 2016 is going on. Where was Atal Ji’s Government? Why did they not raise this question then and get the investigation done. It is their Government in both Centre and J&K; they should answer rather than raising questions, even on Deen Dayal Upadhyay”.
Meanwhile, ex-prosecutor Rohini Salian also reacted to the scathing remarks of the court on the NIA saying “the manner NIA carried out the probe casts doubt on the very motive of their investigation and on why the case was handed to them”.  She said that by dropping of serious charges under MCOCA in the case, NIA was interfering in the process of the court…. This is a fit case for NIA to hand back the probe to the ATS.   
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Jun 30 2016 : The Times of India (Mumbai)
NIA meddled in Malegaon case, motive dodgy: Ex-prosecutor

Swati Deshpande


A day after a special trial court came down heavily on the NIA while rejecting a bail plea of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in the 2008 Malegaon blasts alegaon blasts case, former special public prosecutor in the case Rohini Salian said the “manner NIA car ried out the probe casts doubt on the very motive of their investigation and on why the case was handed to them“.She added that by recommending dropping of serious charges under MCOCA in the case, “NIA was interfering in the process of the court...This is a fit case for NIA to hand back the probe to the ATS,“ Salian said.
Six people died in the September 29, 2008 blast.
Sadhvi Pragya was charged in 2009 by the ATS, which said her motorcycle was used to plant a bomb.NIA took over in 2011 and in its charge sheet this March recommended that organised crime charges should go and gave the sadhvi a clean chit. Thakur had relied on the NIA charge sheet for her bail plea. Salian last year alleged she was approached by an NIA officer in June 2014 -after the NDA government took charge at the Centre -with a request to “go soft“ on the accused, including the sadhvi and Col Prasad Purohit.
The NIA had refuted the allegation. Attorney General Mukul Rohtagi had said her allegation “was baseless'' after pointing out that in the SC, four accused got bail under her watch. Salian said “that was on merit“.
On Wednesday , asked if Pragya's bail rejection vindicated her stand, Salian told TOI: “I have faith in the court. I cannot blow my trumpet but rule of law has prevailed and will continue to prevail.'' The NIA had arrested four people but delayed the charge sheet, enabling their bail, she said. “Surprisingly , the NIA has said they don't have sufficient evidence against the four and have sought their discharge, with four others including the sadhvi,“ she added.
The special NIA court judge on Tuesday questioned the agency for re-recording statements of some of the earlier witnesses. Salian expressed similar concerns. “ Apart from these new statements where the witnesses were shown to have resiled and favoured the sadhvi and some other accused, the NIA has no new material to show for its four-year probe between 2011 and 2016,“ she said.
“Giving the sadhvi a clean chit and recommending dropping of the case was not in the province of the NIA 's probe. It is the province of the court because the court had already taken cognizance in 2009 of the ATS charge sheet against all the accused, including the sadhvi,'' Salian said. “By recommending at this stage, even before charges are framed, to drop MCOCA charges, according to me, amounts to interference in court proceedings.''
What clearly got her goat as an ex-public prosecutor is that the NIA made allegations against officers of the ATS. “They accused late ATS chief Hemant Karkare and his team of being under pressure, which is not only maligning an officer who is not present to refute the charges, but it is not within their jurisdiction.'' Referring to the NIA charge that an ATS officer had planted RDX, she said: “On what basis have the NIA come to the conclusion? Can they merely cite improved statement of the accused and witness to come to this conclusion?'' “There was plenty of evidence in the ATS charge sheet against all 12 accused. The Bombay HC had restored the MCOCA charges after the special court initially dropped them, and the Supreme Court did not interfere.It only asked that the challenge to MCOCA be re-examined in the trial court at the time of framing of charges,“ said Salian.
She pointed out NIA has the power to both take over cases from other agencies and hand them back. “This is one case where they should hand back the case to the earlier agency (ATS) since it appears that they have not managed to get any evidence,'' she said.
“What is before the court now is the ATS charge sheet and ultimately the court would conduct the trial on that charge sheet,'' she added.


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