HC reserves Sadhvi Pragya’s appeal

Published - February 21, 2017 12:56 am IST

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday reserved Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur’s appeal against the rejection of her bail by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case.

A Division Bench of Justices Ranjit More and Shalini Phansalkar Joshi was hearing the bail plea filed by Ms. Thakur on August 22, stating that the special NIA court had failed to take into consideration the “change in circumstances” between November 2015, when her last bail plea was rejected, and June 2016.

Senior Counsel B.A. Desai appeared for Nisar Ahmed Sayyed Bilal, who was injured in the blast, as an intervenor. He said that only because the NIA had filed a supplementary chargesheet and re-investigated the matter it cannot be said that new material is available. He said there is enough material to show a prima facie case against Ms. Thakur as there are witness statements that need to be relied on.

On November 16, 2016, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh had told the bench that the agency had “no objection” to Ms. Thakur being granted bail. The same stand was taken by the NIA before the special court as well. However, Mr. Singh will tender his written submissions before the court by February 27.

While rejecting her bail in 2016, special judge S.D. Tekale had said, “There are reasonable grounds to believe accusations against Sadhvi Pragya is prima facie true.”

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