Malegaon blast case: Congress slams BJP govt for 'protecting all RSS-connected accused' after Shrikant Purohit's bail
The Congress accused the BJP government of 'protecting' all the accused 'connected to the RSS' after the SC granted bail to 2008 Malegaon serial blasts case accused Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit.
New Delhi: The Congress on Monday accused the BJP government of "protecting" all the accused "connected to the RSS" after the Supreme Court granted bail to 2008 Malegaon serial blasts case accused Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit.
The Opposition party also raised questions over National Investigation Agency (NIA) chief Sharad Kumar getting two extensions and hoped that justice would be done in the Malegaon serial blasts case, "without fear or favour".
"Col Purohit gets Bail. It was expected as the present BJP Govt is protecting all the accused connected with RSS in all Bomb Blast cases (sic)," Congress leader Digvijaya Singh wrote on Twitter.
Col Purohit gets Bail. It was expected as the present BJP Govt is protecting all the accused connected with RSS in all Bomb Blast cases.
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) August 21, 2017
In another tweet, he said, "NIA chief has been given two extensions to ensure their acquittal. He may now be further rewarded for a suitable post retirement position (sic)."
NIA Chief has been given two extensions to ensure their acquittal. He may now be further rewarded for a suitable post retirement position.
— digvijaya singh (@digvijaya_28) August 21, 2017
At the party briefing, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said grant of bail was neither a proof of innocence nor guilt as bail was essentially a court's prerogative.
"An interim bail frankly has no reflection or connection with the merits of the case as we understand that a chargesheet has been filed. The matter is under adjudication and a trial court will determine it," he said.
As far as justice dispensation was concerned, Tewari said the Congress was "not in the business of speculating" as a responsible political party.
Raising objections over the NIA chief getting extensions, he said the Supreme Court had underscored in the Jain Hawala case that the heads of investigating agencies, be it the CBI or the Central Vigilance Commission, should have a fixed tenure so that they could work "without any fear".
"We are not trying to draw parallels here, but it is surprising that this government has not been able to find a single competent officer to head the NIA," he said.
"These repeated extensions have been frowned upon by the Supreme Court and therefore, what the government is doing is a flagrant violation of the law laid down by the apex court and it needs to answer why can't the NIA have a head with a fixed tenure," Tewari added.
Asked whether the Congress endorsed Digvijaya Singh's comments, he said he was not aware of them.
All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge of communications department Randeep Singh Surjewala said Purohit getting bail was neither a reflection of his guilt nor innocence as he was facing a trial.
"Why is that the (Narendra) Modi government cannot find any competent police officer in India to head the NIA that they have to give two extensions to its current chief? We sincerely hope that the law will take its own course and justice will be done, free from fear or favour, in this case," he said.
Union minister Kiren Rijiju dismissed the Congress' accusations, saying whoever deserved justice would get it.
"What is the conspiracy about it? The Congress has the habit of raising this issue. Why should we intervene? This is a process (that was) started a long time back and it's a process of the judiciary. Why should we intervene?" he asked.
"Whosoever deserves justice will get it. My saying anything won't change it," Rijiju told reporters on the sidelines of an event of the border guarding force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).
Rijiju added that he would not like to comment on statements made by Digvijaya Singh on the issue.
"He (Singh) has the habit of saying all these things. Why should I respond to that?," the minister said.
The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon serial blasts case.
A bench of justices RK Agrawal and AM Sapre granted bail to Purohit, setting aside a Bombay High Court order which had denied him bail earlier.
The apex court said it had imposed certain conditions on Purohit while granting bail.
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