LokSabha 2019: Pragya Thakur seeks dismissal of plea seeking to bar her from contesting poll

PTI
Tuesday, 23 April 2019

BJP leader Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast, on Tuesday sought dismissal of the application seeking to bar her from contesting the Lok Sabha polls, even as the NIA distanced itself from the issue. 

Mumbai: BJP leader Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast, on Tuesday sought dismissal of the application seeking to bar her from contesting the Lok Sabha polls, even as the NIA distanced itself from the issue. 

Thakur, through her lawyer, filed a reply before special judge for National Investigation Agency (NIA) cases V S Padalkar, dubbing the application as "frivolous" and moved with a "political agenda". 

The father of one of the blast victims moved the court last Thursday, urging it to bar Thakur, the prime accused in the case, from contesting the election.
 
In her response, Thakur said, "The applicant has deliberately chosen this court to ventilate misconceived and frivolous application for want of publicity and extraneous reasons with political agenda," she said. 

It has not only wasted the precious time of this court, but also attempted to consequentially drag, demean and lower the dignity and reputation of the court, Thakur said in her response.
 
She prayed the court to dismiss the application with an exemplary cost and also urged that the applicant be dealt with sternly for filing such a "frivolous" plea. 

Meanwhile, the NIA in its reply submitted that it has no jurisdiction to say anything in the matter. 

"The matter of contesting election is not related to this court and it is to be decided by the Election Commission only," it said. 

On the cancellation of Thakur's bail, the NIA submitted that a petition against it was pending in the Supreme Court. 

The court later adjourned the matter to Wednesday for further hearing. 

Nisar Sayyad, who lost his son in the blast, filed the application against Thakur last week after the BJP fielded her from the Bhopal Lok Sabha seat, where she is locked in a battle with Congress veteran Digvijay Singh.
 
The applicant sought that Thakur, who is out on bail, be asked to attend court proceedings in Mumbai and barred from contesting the election as the trial is in progress. 

It further mentioned that Thakur got bail on health grounds. If she is "healthy enough to fight elections in the crippling summers heat", then she has misled the court, the complainant alleged. 

A petition seeking cancellation of her bail was pending before the Supreme Court, it said. 

Six people were killed and over 100 injured in a bomb blast at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008. 

The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested Thakur and others in the case, alleging that they were part of a Hindu extremist group which carried out the blast. 

The NIA later gave Thakur a clean chit, but the court did not discharge Thakur. 

It dropped charges against her under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, but she is still facing trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and the Indian Penal Code sections.  

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