The Bombay High Court on Wednesday denied relief to Lieutenant Colonel Srikant Prasad Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon blast case by refusing to stay the trial court proceedings. The case was adjourned for two weeks.
Meanwhile, a special NIA court rejected Purohit's application to get non-truncated documents, according to ANI. The court said that the application was a tactic, a hidden agenda of the applicant to prolong the trial. Purohit had asked for statements of all the witnesses from ATS and NIA charge sheets.
On Monday, the Supreme Court had asked the Bombay High Court to deal with Purohit's plea after he moved a fresh leave petition in the apex court following a trial court framing charges against him in October. Purohit, who is an accused in the blast incident which killed six and injured over 100 had said that he was being prosecuted for terror charges under the stringent UAPA without any valid sanction. The plea also alleged that the special court had commenced the trial without dealing with his plea on sanction.
The Supreme Court had on 20 April granted Purohit the liberty to raise the issue of grant of sanction to prosecute him under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) before the trial court at the time of framing of charges. However, the trial court had rejected Purohit's plea on sanction and had framed charges against him.
Earlier also, the apex court while granting bail to Purohit on 21 August 2017 had said that the issue of grant of prosecution sanction could be raised at the time of framing of charges.
On 30 October a special court had framed terror charges against Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and five other accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, setting the stage for their trial which began on 2 November.
Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a town about 200 km from Mumbai in north Maharashtra, on 29 September 2008. The special court had framed charges against all the seven accused under relevant sections of the stringent UAPA and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). Apart from Purohit and Sadhvi, the other accused are -- Major (retired) Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni. The accused were charged under sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the UAPA and charged under sections 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 153 (a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) along with relevant sections under the Explosive Substances Act.
However, on 21 August 2017, the Supreme Court had granted bail to Purohit, who had been languishing in jail for almost nine years for his alleged role in the case, observing that there were contradictions in the charge sheets filed by different investigating agencies.
With inputs from agencies
Updated Date: Nov 21, 2018 17:02:50 IST