NEW DELHI — The Bombay High Court on Monday refused to stay framing of charges by the trial court against half a dozen saffron terror accused including Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. They are accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case.
A bench of Justices S S Shinde and AS Gadkari, however, agreed to hear a petition filed by Purohit, one of the seven accused in the case, challenging his prosecution under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), says a report in The Indian Express. The HC directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file a reply to Purohit’s plea by 21st November 21, the next date of hearing.
Last week (20th Oct), the special trial court of NIA said that the invocation of UAPA against Malegaon 2008 blasts accused Col. Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and others is valid. The court passed the order while rejecting the petition of key accused Purohit who had said the invocation of UAPA against them was illegal.
At least 10 people were killed and several others were wounded in the serial blasts near a mosque and graveyard on 29th Sept. 2008 in Malegaon of Maharashtra. Soon after the blasts, several local Muslims were arrested by the police for the blasts. However, all of them were acquitted by the court.
Most of the accused are out on bail.
The trial court will start framing charges against them from Tuesday (30th Oct).