No progress in 2008 Malegaon blast trial: HC

PTI
Tuesday, 25 February 2020

A division bench of acting Chief Justice B P Dharmadhikari and N R Borkar was hearing an application filed by another accused, Sameer Kulkarni, claiming that the prosecution, NIA and some of the fellow accused were deliberately delaying the proceedings. 

Mumbai: In a trenchant observation, the Bombay High Court said on Tuesday that there has not been any "effective progress" in the trial of 2008 Malegaon blast case where BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur is an accused. 

The HC also asked the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to explain the delay. 

A division bench of acting Chief Justice B P Dharmadhikari and N R Borkar was hearing an application filed by another accused, Sameer Kulkarni, claiming that the prosecution, NIA and some of the fellow accused were deliberately delaying the proceedings. 

Kulkarni pointed out that in October 2018 the HC had ordered the special NIA court in Mumbai to expedite the trial, but in the last six months only 14 witnesses were examined. 

In January 2019, the HC had asked the NIA court's judge to submit reports in sealed cover if any person was not cooperating with the trial court. 

After going through two reports submitted by the trial court on Tuesday, the HC said, "Prima facie, we find that there has been no effective progress in the trial as of now." 

The bench directed the NIA to explain why the trial was being prolonged, and adjourned the hearing to March 16. 

Six people were killed and 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in the North Maharashtra town of Malegaon, about 200 km from here, on September 29, 2008.
 
Pragya Singh Thakur, who won Lok Sabha election from Bhopal last year, is one of the prime accused in the case. Other accused include Army officer Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi.

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