New Delhi: Malegaon blast accused Lt Colonel
Shrikant Prasad Purohit has approached the Armed Forces
Tribunal to quash the Court of Inquiry (CoI) against him and
to prevent the Army from taking further action in his case.
In his petition, Purohit has contended that the CoI
convened against him should be quashed as it was "bad in law"
and violated the provisions of the Army Act and rules.
After Purohit was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS in
connection with the Malegaon blast in November 2008, the Army
had ordered an internal inquiry which commenced on April 7
After the completion of the probe in April this year, the
CoI held under the Lucknow-based Central Command recommended
Purohit`s dismissal from the Army after finding him
"blameworthy" on several counts.
In his plea, Purohit has also sought copies of statements
of witnesses and documents produced against him during the
CoI. He has contended that Army Rule 180 was also violated by
the authorities concerned during the CoI as he was not present
when witnesses were recording statements against him.
Under the Army Rule 180, officers and jawans have the
right to be present throughout the inquiry and cross-examine
witnesses deposing against them.
An infantry officer, Purohit had shifted to the Military
Intelligence wing and was doing a course in Arabic language
when his name surfaced in the case.
Purohit, who is in jail at present, was arrested for
being involved in the September 29, 2008 terror attack
allegedly carried out by Hindu radical elements.
The Maharashtra ATS had also arrested Sadhvi Pragya Singh
Thakur, Dayananad Pandey and a retired major, Ramesh
Upadhyaya, among others, for the blast, which was allegedly
planned by right-wing Hindu outfit Abhinav Bharat.