Malegaon blasts: Prosecution witnesses whose statements are truncated from chargesheet won't be examined for a week, says NIA

Mumbai: The National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday told the Bombay High Court that it would not examine for a week, the evidence of those prosecution witnesses whose names and statements have been truncated from its charge sheet filed in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

The NIA made the statement before a division bench of Justices IA Mahanty and AM Badar which was hearing an application filed by Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, one of the accused in the case, seeking non-truncated copies of the witnesses' statements that are part of the charge sheet.

 Malegaon blasts: Prosecution witnesses whose statements are truncated from chargesheet wont be examined for a week, says NIA

Six persons were killed and nearly 100 injured when a blast rocked Malegaon in Maharashtra in September 2008. Reuters

Purohit's lawyer Shrikant Shivade said the special NIA court is presently recording the evidence of prosecution witnesses and the cross-examination of those witnesses whose statements or names have been masked would not be possible.

NIA counsel Sandesh Patil said that on 22 July it would give names of the prosecution witnesses whom they propose to examine out of those whose statements have been truncated. The agency said till then it would not call any of these witnesses to the stand before the trial court for recording of evidence.

In his plea, Purohit claimed that when the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS), the agency which probed the case initially, filed its charge sheet, several documents, and witnesses' statements were truncated or masked.

He further claimed that the agency never sought the court's permission to truncate or mask the documents and did so at its own discretion.

The case pertains to the killing of six people and injury to 100 when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in north Maharashtra town of Malegaon, about 200 km from Mumbai, on 29 September, 2008.

In October last year, a special court framed charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) against Purohit, Pragya Singh Thakur, now a BJP MP, and some other accused persons in the case.

Updated Date: Jul 15, 2019 18:33:41 IST