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Malegaon explosion case: MP Pragya Thakur did not appear in court | India News


MUMBAI: A special NIA court here said Thursday that the trial in the Malegaon explosion case in 2008 will resume as of Friday and ordered the seven defendants to stand before it on December 19.
NIA special judge PR Sitre had previously ordered all defendants in the case, including BJP deputy Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit, to remain in court on Thursday.
However, Thakur and three others did not appear in court. Only three of the accused appeared before the judge.
Attorneys for the remaining defendants told the court that their clients were absent due to the Covid-19 situation.
The court then ordered all the defendants to appear before it on December 19. He said that the trial in the case, which is being investigated by the National Investigative Agency (NIA), will resume from Friday.
Six people died and more than 100 were injured when an explosive device tied to a motorcycle exploded near a mosque in Malegaon, a city about 200 km from Mumbai in northern Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.
Meanwhile, the Bombay High Court clarified on Thursday that it had not suspended the trial in the Malegaon explosion case in 2008, and said the trial must continue.
A bench in the division of Judges SS Shinde and MS Karnik was listening to a statement by Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit, requesting that the charges against him be dropped.
Purohit’s attorney requested a postponement claiming that lead attorney Mukul Rohatgi was unavailable on Thursday.
The court then adjourned the matter until December 14.
The court sought to know the stage of the trial before the NIA special court.
NIA’s lawyer, Sandesh Patil, told the HC that the trial will start every day from Thursday and that the defendants and some witnesses have been summoned.
“We have never said that the trial is suspended. The trial must continue,” Judge Shinde said.
The court noted that there are 400 prosecution witnesses, of whom only 140 have been questioned so far.
Purohit, in its guilty plea filed in September this year, requested that the charges against it be dropped, as the NIA had not obtained a prior sanction under Section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
Article 197 of the CrPC establishes the procedure for the prosecution of public servants and orders that a prior sanction be requested from the government.
Purohit said that in the absence of a prior sanction, the lower court could not have heard the charges.
According to the guilty plea, Purohit worked for the Indian Army’s military intelligence unit and had attended the alleged conspiracy meetings prior to the blast as part of “fulfilling his obligations.”
The NIA had opposed the allegation, saying that Purohit had attended the meetings in a personal capacity and not as part of the performance of his duties.
Purohit, who was arrested in 2009, was reinstated in the military in 2017 after the Supreme Court granted him bail.
The defendants in the case have been charged under articles 16 (commission of a terrorist act) and 18 (conspiracy to commit a terrorist act) of the Law (Prevention) of Illegal Activities (UAPA).
They have also been charged under sections 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempted murder) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), 324 (willfully causing harm) and 153 ( a) (to promote enmity between two people). religious groups) and the relevant provisions of the Explosive Substances Act.

Times of India