2008 Malegaon blasts case: SC asks Bombay HC to hear accused Lt-Col Purohit's plea questioning validity of trial under UAPA

The Supreme Court on Monday asked the Bombay High Court to hear the plea of Lieutenant-Colonel Shrikant Purohit, who is an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, on 21 November. The apex court bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, also directed the high court to evaluate the validity of the prosecutor's sanction for Purohit to be tried under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).

In his plea filed last week, Purohit claimed that he was being prosecuted in the matter without any valid sanction. He also referred to the earlier apex court order by which the trial court and the Bombay High Court were directed to deal with his claim.

File image of Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit. PTI

File image of Lieutenant-Colonel Shrikant Purohit. PTI

The plea also alleged that the charges have been framed against Purohit and others by the trial court which had commenced the trial without dealing with the claim on sanction. Purohit further claimed that the documents supplied to him by the prosecution did not have names of witnesses and most of it were in "truncated" form.

"By truncating the documents, the prosecution has deprived the accused his statutory rights to prepare for cross examination and defence," Purohit's application said.

However, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on 15 November responded saying that the accused had been provided with the documents in accordance with law.

A special court on 2 November had commenced the formal trial against Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and five other accused after framing of charges under various penal law in the Malegaon blast case.

After the Bombay High Court refused to stay the framing of charges against the accused on 29 October, the NIA special court on 30 October charged all seven persons accused in the Malegaon blast case with terror conspiracy, murder, and other related offences.

Purohit had said at the time that he would appeal in the Supreme Court.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Nov 19, 2018 13:27:37 IST

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