Former SIMI functionary Saquib Nachan, booked in an attempt to murder case in 2012, was granted bail by a sessions court after Supreme Court directed it to dispose of his plea that he should be released as prosecution had failed to file charge sheet against him in stipulated time.

Nachan was booked under various sections of IPC and Arms Act for murder bid on VHP activist Manoj Raicha in Bhiwandi in August 2012. He was subsequently booked under stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA).

In his order passed on Friday, judge A S Bhaisare approved Nachan’s release on a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and surety of like amount.

The judge also asked Nachan not to tamper with evidence regarding the case and to visit the police station concerned every Monday between 3 PM and 5 PM. He was also asked to surrender his passport before court.

Nachan, convicted in the 2003 Mulund train blasts case earlier this year, was arrested in 2002 in connection with the murder of VHP leader Lalit Jain at Bhiwandi in the district. However, he was acquitted in the case in 2006 for want of evidence.

Seeking bail, Nachan’s lawyer contended police had failed to file the charge sheet in the Raicha case within mandatory 90 days.

In 2012, Thane special court had rejected prosecution’s plea seeking more time to file charge sheet in the case, following which police approached the Bombay High Court which stayed the special court’s order.

Nachan then moved the Supreme Court against the stay which earlier this month set aside the order of the high court and directed the lower court to dispose of Nachan’s application on merits.

“The special court had declined to extend the period sought by prosecution to file charge sheet on October 30, 2012. Since there is no extension for investigation and detention, the statutory period of 90 days expired on November 1, 2012. However, as no charge sheet was filed within stipulated time of 90 days, the accused has acquired indefeasible right to be enlarged on bail,” Nachan’s counsel Baba Sheikh argued.

In its order granting bail, the court stated that “the proviso to section 167(2) of CrPC r/w section 21 of MCOCA Act creates an indefeasible right in favour of accused on account of default by the prosecution agency in completing the investigation.”

Special Public Prosecutor Sangita Phad told the court that a revision petition was filed before the high court against the apex court order.

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