HC dismisses petitions filed by Malegaon blast accused

The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed pleas filed by Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit and Sameer Kulkarni, accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, challenging their prosecution.

A Division Bench of Justice Naresh Patil and Justice Nitin Sambre was hearing the petitions filed by the accused challenging the sanction of prosecution under provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Advocate Shrikant Shivade appearing for Lt. Col. Purohit said, “In this case, the sanction was given in January 2009 but the authority was appointed only in October 2010. Hence the sanction order stands vitiated.” He said the State government had no power to accord sanction under Section 45 (ii) of Act. He also argued that the sanctioning authority of the State Government did not follow the mandatory provision.

Advocate Sandesh Patil, representing the National Investigation Agency, said the issue of sanction was brought up by Lt. Col. Purohit earlier when he was seeking bail before the High Court. The court had then rejected the contention and left it for the trial court to decide on the case. Mr. Patil pointed out that the court had reserved its order till December 21.

The High Court accepted the NIA lawyer’s arguments and dismissed the petitions. The court said it did not want to go into the merits of the case.

On September 29, 2008, six persons were killed and 101 injured when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle exploded in Malegaon town. On August 21, the Supreme Court granted bail to Lt. Col. Purohit and said he had been caught in a “political crossfire” and languishing in jail for nine years.

He was charged of murder, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons, promoting enmity between different groups on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, and committing acts prejudicial to maintenance of harmony. He is also being charges with relevant sections under the Arms Act, Indian Explosive Substance Act, and UAPA.

On October 11, Mr. Kulkarni was granted bail as other accused also had been granted bail in the case.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 7:45:11 AM |

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