Malegaon blast: SC restrains Purohit’s questioning

Last Updated: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 19:04

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended
its order restraining the National Investigation Agency not to
interrogate 2008 Malegaon blast accused Lt Col Shrikant Prasad
Purohit and Sudhakar Dhar Dwivedi till further direction.

A bench of justices H L Dattu and C K Prasad extended the
stay of the Bombay High Court order allowing the agency to
interrogate him and also impleaded the NIA on the bail plea of
Purohit.
Purohit approached the apex court challenging the High
Court`s October 20 order allowing NIA to take him from the
judicial custody to interrogate him.

The bench asked the NIA, the Centre and the Maharashtra
government to file their response within a week and posted the
matter for final disposal after two weeks.

On December 16 last year, the bench had stayed the
operation of the high court`s order.

Dwivedi also challenged the order of the high court and
the trial court allowing NIA to take him from judicial custody
for his custodial interrogation.

Purohit`s bail was rejected on November 9 by the high
court which had allowed liberty to another co-accused Ajay
Rahirkar on certain conditions.
"Lt. Col Purohit was not just involved in talking about
Hindu rashtra but is alleged to have been instrumental in
making RDX available," the high court had said while rejecting
his bail.

"Reliability of evidence about his bragging to a witness
that he had RDX in his possession and the evidence about
finding of RDX on a cotton swab would have to be decided at
trial. Therefore, he would not be entitled to bail," the high
court had said.

Rahirkar was ordered to be released on bail on his
furnishing a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh with one or more
solvent sureties of the same amount.

Purohit was arrested and issued a charge sheet in
connection with the Malegaon bomb blast that took place on
September 29, 2008 leaving seven persons dead.

Co-accused also include sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and
Rakesh Dhawade besides Dwivedi.

Thakur`s bail plea was dismissed by the apex court in
September.

According to the prosecution, the accused had formed an
organisation Abhinav Bharat Trust at Pune in 2006 with
headquarters at the address of Rahirkar. It was registered on
February 9, 2007. They allegedly took an oath to strive to
turn India into a Hindu rashtra called Aryawart.

It was alleged that the members met from time to time to
discuss various aspects for achieving their goal. Accused
Shankaracharya is stated to have recorded conversations at the
meetings and these recordings are the foundation of the case
built up against the two applicants.

Approval for applying provisions of MCOCA in this case
was granted on November 20, 2008, and the applicants were
booked for offences under this stringent act.
Purohit and Rahirkar along with others were issued charge
sheet for offences under various enactments including MCOCA.

On July 31, 2009, the special judge held that charges
against them under MCOCA did not survive and discharged them.
He directed that the case be placed before regular sessions
court to try them for other offences and therefore rejected
their applications for bail.

The state challenged the order discharging the accused
from offences under MCOCA before the high court.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, January 4, 2012 - 19:04

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