New Delhi: The Supreme Court Monday declined
to grant bail to Lieutenant Colonel SP Purohit, one of the key
accused in the case relating to 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts
which killed seven people.
"It is a grievous offence. Many people were killed. The
trial is still on," the apex court said when Purohit`s counsel
submitted that the accused was languishing in jail for the
past two years.
A Bench of Justices Markandeya Katju and TS Thakur,
however, admitted the appeal filed by Purohit challenging his
prosecution under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act
(MCOCA) and agreed to expedite the hearing.
Though co-accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur had filed a
similar appeal, it did not come up for hearing.
Both the accused have challenged the Bombay High Court`s
direction allowing Maharashtra Anti-Terrorist Squad (ATS) to
invoke MCOCA against them. The High Court had passed the
direction after reversing a judgement of a designated MCOCA
court which had on July 31, 2009, quashed the charges against
the duo and nine others.
The accused have taken the plea that the High Court had
erred in upholding MCOCA provision against them and submitted
that to invoke the Act, there should be previous history of
organised criminal activities against them.
It was submitted that they had no prior criminal
antecedents and even in the present bomb blast case they were
Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on September
29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in
Nasik district Maharashtra. The probe into the blast had
brought into focus some right-wing Hindu groups.
A special MCOCA court had on July 31, 2009, held that
ATS had wrongly applied MCOCA in the case against Pragya,
Purohit and nine others.