The special court of the National Investigative Agency (NIA) has instructed the NIA to make sure Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur is present for the next hearing of the Sunil Joshi murder case in March.

The NIA court is hearing the murder case of former RSS pracharak Sunil Joshi, an accused in the Samjhauta train blast case. The sadhvi, along with four others, is being tried for the murder of Joshi, who was shot dead in Madhya Pradesh's Dewas district in 2007.

The next hearing of the case is scheduled for March 13.

Joshi's murder trial was transferred from a lower court in Dewas to the NIA's special court following a directive from the Madhya Pradesh High Court last November. The NIA had taken over the case from the Madhya Pradesh police last year following little progress made by the latter, which many attributed to political interference.

The NIA court judge V.K. Pandey also instructed the agency to ensure the presence of another accused Harshad Solanki, arrested and lodged in a Rajasthan prison in connection with the 2007 Ajmer dargah blasts.

Both Solanki and Pragnya Thakur had failed to appear for the NIA hearings for the third successive time on Monday, after skipping earlier hearings held November and December last. The NIA had taken over the case from the Madhya Pradesh police last year following little progress made by the latter, which many attributed to political interference.

Sadhvi Pragnya is currently under arrest in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blasts under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

Citing ill health, she recently appealed to the Maharashtra High Court, requesting comfortable travel arrangements for her journey to Bhopal after the MCOCA had rejected her request for the same.