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Court admits plea for federal probe in July 13 Mumbai blasts

The Bombay High Court admitted a petition demanding that the probe into the July 13 Mumbai blasts which killed 27 people be handed over to central agencies as they constitute “an attack on the nation”.

According to petitioner V.P. Patil, an advocate, presently the probe into the triple blasts was being conducted by Maharashtra’s Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) and Mumbai Police Crime Branch.

“However, these blasts have been termed as ‘attack on the nation’ so I have demanded that the investigations be handed over to either the Central Bureau of Investigation or the National Investigation Agency,” Patil told the media.

The triple blasts killed 27 and left over 100 injured at the diamond hub of Opera House, gold jewellery hub of Zaveri Bazar and the busy commercial locality of Dadar West.

The division bench of Justice D.D. Sinha and Justice V.K. Tahilramani issued notices to the central and state governments and fixed the next hearing for Oct 20.

In December 2008, Patil filed a similar plea seeking a central agency probe into the Nov 26, 2008, Mumbai terror attack and sought measures to streamline the intelligence and security machinery of the state.

The court said that since the prayers in both the petitions were similar, they could be clubbed together.

Patil said that he had not raised any doubts over the competence of either the ATS or Mumbai Police, but sought to highlight that since these were acts of terror against the nation, both the matters were beyond their respective jurisdiction.

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