Malegaon blast case: Father of victim files plea in SC against Sadhvi Pragya's bail
A petition was filed on Thursday in the Supreme Court challenging the bail to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
New Delhi: A petition was filed on Thursday in the Supreme Court challenging the Bombay High Court's order granting bail to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
The plea has sought a stay on the high court's 25 April order granting bail to her. The high court had granted her the relief saying there was "no prima facie evidence against her".
Petitioner Nisar Ahmed Haji Sayed Bilal, father of one of the blast victims, has alleged that Thakur was a "powerful person" and could influence the witnesses in the case.
"The high court failed to appreciate that Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur is an influential person and is likely to wield her power and influence in an illegal and unlawful manner to tamper with evidence and influence witnesses," he has said in the petition.
The plea has claimed that there was ample evidence against her, and "her role, involvement and complicity in planning and executing the conspiracy for committing Malegaon blast is writ large on the case record." "Thakur coordinated with a co-accused for providing explosives to her confidantes/absconding accused," it has said.
The petition has said that she had been denied bail by a special court in Mumbai several times in the years 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2016 on the ground that "a prima facie case is clearly made out against her."
Thakur was granted bail by the high court, which, however, had refused a similar relief to co-accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit.
Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 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 the MCOCA in the case against Thakur, Purohit and nine others.
The 4,000-page chargesheet had alleged that Malegaon was selected as the blast target because of a sizeable Muslim
population there. It named Thakur, Purohit and co-accused, Swami Dayanand Pandey as the key conspirators.
The chargesheet had further alleged it was Pandey who had instructed Purohit to arrange explosive RDX, while Thakur owned the motorcycle which was used in the blast.
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.
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The Bombay High Court said that it would first decide on its jurisdiction to hear the bail petition of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, who is an accused in the Malegaon bomb blast case, before ruling on her bail plea.
The Malegaon blast case, which has pitted one probe agency against the other, is merely a continuation of this time-honoured Indian tradition.
After the proceedings ended and the judge left, Thakur bemoaned what she called as the "lack of facilities" in the courtroom. "This is not the way to treat people after calling (them to court)....there is no proper place to sit or stand here," she said.