The Telegraph
Thursday , August 17 , 2017
 
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SC hears bail plea of Malegaon blast accused waiting in jail for 9 yrs for chargesheet

New Delhi, Aug. 17 (PTI): The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved its verdict on a petition by Lt Col S.P. Purohit, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, for interim bail.

A bench of Justices R.K. Agrawal and A.M. Sapre said it would pass an order on the plea.

Senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Purohit, said he has been in jail for nine years but charges have still not been framed against him.

He said the charge against him under the Maharashtra Congrol of Organised Crime Act has already been dropped and so he is entitled to interim bail.

Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon in Maharashtra’s Nasik district.

Additional Solicitor General Maninder Singh, appearing for National Investigation Agency, said there was some evidence against Purohit that would help in framing charges.

With regard to the plea seeking cancellation of bail of Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the court posted the matter for hearing on October 10.

Purohit has moved the apex court challenging the Bombay High Court's order dismissing his bail plea.

Nisar Ahmed Haji Sayed Bilal, father of one of the blast victims, has challenged the Bombay High Court order granting bail to Thakur alleging that she was a “powerful person” and could influence the witnesses in the case.

He has sought a stay on the high court's April 25 order granting her bail, saying there was “no prima facie evidence against her”.

The apex court had on July 28 sought Maharashtra government's reply on the plea seeking cancellation of Thakur's bail.

The NIA had filed its reply in Purohit's case, saying there was ample evidence against him, but no evidence against Thakur.

The top court had on May 5 also sought a response from the NIA and the Maharashtra government on the plea of Purohit seeking bail.

A special court handling cases under the MCOCA had earlier ruled that the Anti-Terrorist Squad had wrongly applied this law against Thakur, Purohit and nine others.

The 4,000-page charge sheet had alleged that Malegaon was selected as the blast target because of a sizeable Muslim population there. It had named Thakur, Purohit and co-accused, Swami Dayanand Pandey as the key conspirators.

It had alleged that it was Pandey who had instructed Purohit to arrange explosives, while Thakur owned the motorcycle that was used in the blast. 


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