Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur arrived at the special NIA court in Mumbai on Friday, in connection with 2008 Malegaon blast case. It was Thakur's first appearance before the NIA court, which is conducting trial in the 11-year-old case, after being elected to the Lok Sabha in May. The last time she had shown up in the court was during framing of charges in the case in October 2018.
Previously, Thakur had failed to attend two court hearings on medical grounds. Her lawyer Prashant Magoo had told the court that she is suffering from high blood pressure and would be unable to travel from Bhopal to Mumbai.
Thakur was hospitalised in Bhopal following a stomach ailment on Wednesday night and was discharged early Thursday, her close aide Upma told PTI, adding that the BJP MP would return to the hospital after attending an event in Bhopal.
During the hearing on Thursday, Magoo submitted an application before NIA Judge VS Padalkar seeking exemption from her appearance in the court. The court had granted her exemption for the day and asked her to appear before it on Friday. "Today, the exemption is granted. But she will have to appear on Friday, else she will have to face consequences," the judge said.
Thakur and seven others are facing trial under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). They have been charged under UAPA sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act).
They are also facing charges under IPC sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 153(a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups).
Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a power-loom town in north Maharashtra, on 29 September, 2008. According to police, the motorbike was registered in Thakur's name and that led to her arrest in 2008. The Bombay High Court granted her bail in 2017.
With inputs from PTI
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Updated Date: Jun 07, 2019 20:35:42 IST