HC asks NIA reasons for delay in 2008 Malegaon blasts trial

Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur leaves the special NIA court in Mumbai.

Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur leaves the special NIA court in Mumbai.  

No effective progress, says Bench; next hearing on March 16

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to explain the reasons for delay in the trial in the 2008 Malegaon blasts that had killed six people and injured 101. Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur is an accused in the case.

A Division Bench of Acting Chief Justice B.P. Dharmadhikari and Justice N.R. Borkar was hearing an appeal filed by accused Sameer Kulkarni, who complained about how the agency and some of the other accused were delaying the trial.

Mr. Kulkarni, who appeared in person, informed the court that in October 2018, the High Court had ordered the special NIA court to expedite the trial. However, in the last six months, only 14 witnesses have been examined, he said. As per a direction from another Division Bench, the NIA had to submit reports in sealed covers of who was not cooperating in the trial. After perusing the reports on Tuesday, the HC said, “Prima facie we find that there has not been any effective progress in the trial as of now.”

The Bench directed the agency to explain the adjournments and also state by when it would complete the trial. The matter will now be heard on March 16.

Mr. Kulkarni had previously told the HC that witnesses, whose names were not truncated, had not been examined which was further delaying the trial.

On October 30, 2018, the special NIA court had framed charges of murder, abetment, and conspiracy for the blasts against Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, Ms. Thakur, Mr. Kulkarni, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Ajay Rahilkar, and Sudhakar Chaturvedi. All the accused allegedly conspired from January 2008 to plant bombs on September 29.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 7:51:49 AM |

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