NEW DELHI: The NIA on Thursday denied the charges made by its Special Public Prosecutor(SPP) Rohini Salian in Malegaon blast case that the anti-terror agency had asked her to go soft on the accused. Refuting the SPP’s claims, the NIA claimed that the work of the PP starts only after the investigating agency files the chargesheet in a trial court.
“The Malegaon blast case of 2008 has not yet reached the trial stage. Therefore, it is incorrect to infer that Salian was being bypassed for court appearances. Further, the NIA denies the issuance of inappropriate briefing by an agency officer to the SPP or creating impediments to her prosecution work of NIA cases she has been handling,” the agency said in a statement.
The agency also confirmed that Salian was one of the three SPPs recommended for removal from the panel by its Mumbai branch as they would be completing five years of service in August 2015.
It said Salian was empanelled as SPP in NIA on September 1, 2010.
“During the meeting of the Designated Committee chaired by the DG, NIA, on January 12, 2015, recommendations for fresh empanellment were made. Subsequently, the Ministry of Home Affairs notified 33 new SPPs in its notification dated May 25, 2015, which included five for Maharashtra.”
“During the same meeting, it was also decided that performance, suitability and availability of the SPPs, who are on the panels for five years or more or who are in the last quarter of completing five years, will be assessed and if need be, recommendations be made for denotifying them,” the NIA said. “The main work of the PP starts only after the investigating agency files the chargesheet in the trial court. The National Investigation Agency special court proceedings during the stage of investigation are of miscellaneous nature and usually the branch PPs deal with the same except when a complex legal matter is involved which warrant the services of PP,” the agency further added.
Salian on Thursday alleged that the NIA “go soft” on the accused after the Narendra Modi Government assumed power in May last.
“An NIA officer called me up and said he wanted to meet me. He then met me some time last year and asked me to go soft on the accused in the case,” said Rohini Salian, who is the SPP in the case. The officer had apparently got instructions from higher-ups to convey this to me, Salian told reporters here.
“Again on June 12 this year, the same officer met me and conveyed orally that I was to be replaced by some other lawyer. I told him to settle my bills and denotify me as a prosecutor in the case.
“However, till date, neither a notification has been issued about my replacement with some other lawyer, nor my bills settled,” the prosecutor said. Salian refused to identify the NIA officer, who had asked her to go soft on the accused in the Malegaon bomb blast case.
The prosecutor said she had a dispute with the National Investigation Agency over her remuneration.