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Malegaon blast case: Pragya Singh Thakur, three others fail to seem in Mumbai court; trial begins Friday

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Mumbai: A alternative NIA court here on Thursday acknowledged the trial within the 2008 Malegaon blast case will resume from Friday and directed the total seven accused to remain recent within the court on 19 December. Special NIA court judge PR Sitre had earlier directed the total accused within the case, including BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur and Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, to remain recent within the court on Thursday.

On the opposite hand, Pragya Thakur, Ramesh Upadhayay, Sudhakar Diwedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi did no longer seem within the court. Thakur had regarded earlier than the court in June final yr after it ordered the seven accused to remain recent once a week. She later sought exemption from look on varied cases since then.

Lt Col Purohit, Sameer Kulkarni and Ajay Rahikar contain been recent earlier than the judge on Thursday. The attorneys of the opposite four accused told the court that their purchasers contain been absent this capability that of the COVID-19 train.

The court then directed the total accused to be recent earlier than it on 19 December. It acknowledged the trial within the case, which is being probed by the Nationwide Investigation Agency (NIA), will resume from Friday.

Six of us contain been killed and over 100 others injured when an explosive system strapped on a motorbike went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a city about 200 km from Mumbai in north Maharashtra, on 29 September, 2008. The court had framed terror charges against Purohit, Thakur and five other accused in October 2018.

The trial within the case may well per chance no longer proceed since March this yr as regular functioning of the courts used to be hampered this capability that of the COVID-19 train. Responding to a plea in search of day-to-day trial within the case, the probe company had earlier told the court that it used to be making all efforts to expedite the case.

The trial within the case used to be additionally delayed this capability that of retirement of the earlier judge VS Padalkar, it had acknowledged. As per the NIA, around 140 witnesses out of 400 contain been already been examined within the case.

In the period in-between, the Bombay High Court docket on Thursday clarified that it has no longer stayed the trial within the Malegaon blast case, and acknowledged the trial have to slump on. A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and M S Karnik used to be listening to a plea filed by Lt Col Prasad Purohit, in search of that charges against him be quashed.

Purohit’s lawyer sought adjournment on the bottom that senior recommend Mukul Rohatgi used to be no longer available on Thursday. The court then adjourned the topic except 14 December.

The bench sought to snatch at what stage is the trial earlier than the particular NIA court. NIA’s recommend Sandesh Patil told the HC that the trial will originate on a day-to-day basis from Thursday and the accused persons and some witnesses contain been summoned.

“We have never acknowledged that the trial is stayed. The trial have to continue,” Justice Shinde acknowledged. The court infamous that there are 400 prosecution witnesses, of whom only 140 contain been examined to this level.

Purohit, in his plea filed in September this yr, sought that charges against him be quashed, because of the the NIA had did not gather a prior sanction below Legal Map Code (CrPC) Fraction 197. Fraction 197 of the CrPC lays down the contrivance for prosecution of public servants and mandates that a prior sanction be sought from the executive.

Purohit acknowledged within the absence of prior sanction, the trial court may well per chance not contain taken cognisance of the costs. As per the plea, Purohit used to be working for the Indian Military’s militia intelligence unit and had attended the alleged conspiracy conferences earlier than the blast as share of “discharging his tasks”.

The NIA had opposed the plea, announcing Purohit attended the conferences in his private ability and no longer as share of discharging his tasks. Purohit, who used to be arrested in 2009, used to be reinstated within the Military in 2017 after he used to be granted bail by the Supreme Court docket.

The accused within the case contain been charged below Sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). They’ve additionally been charged below Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 120 (b) (felony conspiracy), 302 (ruin), 307 (are trying and ruin), 324 (voluntarily causing damage) and 153 (a) (promoting enmity between two non secular teams), and linked provisions of the Explosive Substances Act.

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