Malegaon blast | Bombay High Court to pronounce order on victim’s plea on November 27

Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit at Bombay High Court on October 28, 2018.   | Photo Credit: Emmanual Yogini

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday said it will pronounce the order on a plea by a victim of the Malegaon 2008 bomb blast to intervene in an application by accused Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit challenging the sanction to prosecute him in the case on November 27.

A Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and M.S. Karnik was hearing the criminal interim application filed by Nisar Ahmed Haji Sayyed Bilal, a victim and father of a man who died in the blast along with five others.

Former additional solicitor general of India B.A. Desai, representing Mr. Bilal, sought permission to intervene in the case. He said he had filed for an intervention during the trial and the matter is before the Supreme Court in the case.

Advocate Neela Gokhale, appearing for Mr. Purohit, opposed the application and said the plea filed by Mr. Purohit is only challenging the sanction to prosecute him and that his role in the case is restricted to him discharging his official duties as an Army officer. Therefore, Ms. Gokhale said, the intervention application should not be allowed.

Mr. Desai read judgments which said that the victim had a right to intervene in all matters related to a case. Ms. Gokhale said that Mr. Purohit was the ninth accused in the case. The court then asked the counsel for the National Investigation Agency Sandesh Patil to explain the stage at which the trial was.

Mr. Patil said that out of 400 witnesses, 140 had been examined and that the trial was stalled because the presiding judge had retired and the new judge had not been able to take charge because of COVID-19. However, the next date of the trial is November 26 and the trial is set to begin in December on a day-to-day basis, he said.

The Bench then said that it would pronounce the order on whether or not the intervention would be allowed on November 27, and that the main issue of the plea filed by Mr. Purohit would be heard on December 3.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2021 7:23:40 PM |

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