Court rejects in-camera trial in Malegaon blasts case

The special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday rejected the NIA’s plea to hold an in-camera trial in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case.

Special Judge Vinod Padalkar said the plea was rejected because the court wants the trial to be transparent. The court has allowed the media to cover the trial and reporters have to produce their identity cards to the court.

On August 2, NIA had moved a five-page application for an in-camera trial stating that the case had a direct bearing on “communal harmony, national security and public order.” It stated, “Allegations against the accused are that they have committed offences to take revenge against Muslim jihadist activities and create a rift between the two communities. As per the prosecution, for causing the bomb blast, Malegaon was chosen because it is a Muslim-dominated area. Therefore, for maintaining harmony in society, it is necessary to conduct an in-camera hearing and place restraint on publication of court proceedings.”

On August 5, a group of journalists moved the court, through senior counsel Rizwan Merchant, to intervene in the matter as an in-camera trial would bar the media from covering court proceedings in a high-profile case.

On October 30, 2018, the special court had framed charges of murder, abetment and conspiracy for the blasts against BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Ajay Rahilkar and Sudhakar Chaturvedi.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 7:59:47 PM |

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