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Updated: July 26, 2010 21:01 IST

Malegaon blasts: SC adjourns hearing on Sadhvi Pragnya’s bail

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The Supreme Court on Monday deferred the hearing for two weeks on the bail plea of Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur who is facing charges under MCOCA for her alleged involvement in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast.

The petition, which was listed for hearing before a bench comprising Justices J. M. Panchal and Gyan Sudha Mishra, was adjourned as Pragnya’s counsel Sushil Balwada wanted it.

Pragnya has filed the petition challenging the denial of bail by the Bombay High Court on March 12.

He said Thakur will also file a petition against the July 19 decision of the High Court restoring the charges under stringent anti-organised crime law MCOCA.

The High Court had ordered that Pragnya and ten other accused in the Malegaon bomb blast case will face trial under MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act) and had quashed the decision of the special court which had dropped the charges under the special law.

Among the other high-profile accused in the case is former Lt Col S. P. Purohit.

The trial of the case will take place at a special MCOCA court. The accused are currently lodged in Nasik Central Prison.

Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Maharashtra. The probe into the blast has brought into focus some right-wing Hindu groups.

A Special MCOCA court had on July 31 last year ruled that the Anti Terrorist Squad had wrongly applied MCOCA in the case against Pragnya, Purohit and nine others.

The 4,000—page chargesheet had alleged Malegaon was selected as the blast target because Muslims form a sizeable part of its population. It named Pragnya Thakur, Purohit and another accused Swami Dayanand Pandey as the key conspirators.

The chargesheet had further alleged it was Pandey who had instructed Purohit to arrange for RDX while Pragnya owned the motorcycle used in the blast.

Ajay Rahirkar, another accused, allegedly organised funds for the terror act while conspiracy meetings were held at Bhonsala Military School in Nasik.

Rakesh Dhawde, Ramesh Upadhyay, Shyamlal Sahu, Shivnarain Kalsangra, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Jagdish Mhatre and Sameer Kulkarni were the other seven accused.





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