Trial in Malegaon blasts case pushed by another week

In legal tangle: Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit is one of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. File Photo

In legal tangle: Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit is one of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. File Photo  

In a move that will stall the ongoing 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts trial before the National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, the agency sought more time before the Bombay High Court on Monday to provide copies of truncated statements of witnesses to the accused.

A Division Bench of Justices Indranjit Mahanty and A.M. Badar was hearing an appeal filed by Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, an accused in the blasts that killed six and injured 100. On November 21, last year, the NIA court had refused to share the witnesses’ names with him. Thereafter, he moved the HC seeking the names.

On November 12, Mr. Purohit filed two applications, one stating the NIA has not submitted names of all witnesses in the trial and two, that it had shared truncated information with him.

On Monday, the NIA counsel told the court that it will need another week to provide the names and truncated statements of witnesses. On July 15, the NIA had told the HC that it will not examine, for a week, any prosecution witnesses whose names and statements have been truncated in the charge sheet filed by the agency.

Advocate Shrikant Shivade, appearing for Mr. Purohit, told the court that names of all the witnesses were given to the accused in international terror cases such as the 26/11 attacks and 1993 blasts. He said statements of all witnesses were given to the main accused Ajmal Kasab, and asked why the accused could not be provided with the names in this case.

Another accused, Sameer Kulkarni, who appears in person told the Division Bench that the central agency is not following HC orders. He said, “The untruncated witnesses have not been examined before the NIA court, which is delaying the matter.” The court adjourned the matter to August 2.

Previously, the NIA counsel Avinash Rasal had objected to Mr. Purohit’s plea before the special NIA court and had said since the matter is sensitive, names of the witnesses cannot be shared with him.

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Printable version | Apr 8, 2020 10:11:08 PM |

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