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The Supreme Court Wednesday extended its interim order staying the Bombay High Court verdict permitting custodial interrogation by the NIA of Malegaon bomb blast accused Prasad Srikant Purohit and Sudhakar Dhar Dwivedi till April 10.

The court would that day examine whether offences alleged against the two justified invoking of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against them.

The apex court bench of Justice H.L. Dattu and Justice Anil R. Dave fixed the hearing for April 10 after it was told that Chief Justice S.H. Kapadia has clubbed all the three cases moved by Purohit and Dwivedi – seeking bail, challenging their custodial interrogation and invoking of MCOCA.

The apex court by its Dec 16, 2011, interim order had stayed the Bombay High Court order permitting the custodial interrogation of both Purohit and Dwivedi in connection with the Malegaon blast case.

Purohit is still a Lt Colonel in the Indian Army and is facing disciplinary proceedings.

Malegaon in 2008 was rocked by blasts which claimed six lives and left more than 100 injured.

Appearing for Purohit and Dwivedi, senior counsel U.U. Lalit said that petitioners’ challenge to the Bombay High Court order permitting their custodial interrogation by the National Investigation Agency could be considered after the court has examined whether the offences alleged against them could be covered under MCOCA.

The senior counsel told the court that if it comes to the conclusion that the offences alleged against Purohit and Dwivedi do not fall under MCOCA, the issue of their custodial interrogation by NIA would also go.



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