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Malegaon Blast Case: Supreme Court to hear accused Colonel Shrikant Purohit's bail plea today

The Supreme Court will hear former Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit's bail plea in the 2008 Malegaon blast case on Thursday. On 14 August, the apex court had set 17 August to hear Purohit's plea, saying that the "matter requires lengthy hearing".

A bench of Justices RK Agrawal and MM Shantanagoudar had observed that the issue of granting bail to Purohit and cancellation of bail of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, also accused in the case, needed detailed consideration, as both the pleas are on similar facts.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Purohit has moved the apex court challenging the Bombay High Court's order dismissing his bail plea, while father of one of the blast victims has challenged the Bombay High Court order granting bail to Thakur alleging that she was a "powerful person" and could influence the witnesses in the case.

The father of the victim has sought a stay on the high court's 25 April order granting her bail, saying there was "no prima facie evidence against her".

The apex court had on 28 July sought Maharashtra government's reply on the plea seeking cancellation of Thakur's bail.

The National Investigating Agency (NIA) had filed its reply in the case of Purohit, saying there was ample evidence against him, but no evidence against Thakur. The apex court had on 5 May also sought a response from the NIA and the Maharashtra government on the plea of Purohit seeking bail.

Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on 29 September, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of north Maharashtra.

A special MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) court had earlier ruled that the Anti-Terrorist Squad had wrongly applied this law against Thakur, Purohit and nine others. The 4,000-page charge sheet had alleged that Malegaon was selected as the blast target because of its sizeable Muslim population.

Thakur, Purohit and co-accused, Swami Dayanand Pandey were named as the key conspirators. It had alleged it was Pandey who had instructed Purohit to arrange explosive RDX, while Thakur owned the motorcycle which was used in the blast.

On 31 July, a special court had rejected Pandey's plea which claimed that his arrest was made on the basis of a mistaken identity.

Ajay Rahirkar, another accused, allegedly organised funds for the terror act, while conspiracy meetings were held at Bhonsala Military School in Nasik, it had said.

Rakesh Dhawde, Ramesh Upadhyay, Shyamlal Sahu, Shivnarain Kalsangra, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Jagdish Mhatre and Sameer Kulkarni were the other accused.

Published Date: Aug 17, 2017 11:54 AM | Updated Date: Aug 17, 2017 11:54 AM

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