THE bail plea of 2008 Malegaon blast case accused Lt Col Shrikant Purohit filed in the Bombay High Court argues that the Special Court, which rejected his plea earlier has erred by applying stringent provisions of Maharashtra’s organized crime law despite a shadow of doubt being cast by the Supreme Court in the provision’s application.
In December 2015, the Special Court had rejected Purohit’s bail plea along with the other accused for perpetrating the blasts that killed four and injured 79 others.
The Special Court had, however, observed, “It has to be borne in mind that the blast was caused in a Muslim-dominated area in the month of Ramzan. Naturally, this act was done with the intention to create terror in the minds of the members of a particular section — the Muslim community and to create a rift between Hindus and Muslims.”
The application of stringent provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act and Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, is nothing short of a political conspiracy, he alleged.
He also cites delay in investigation by the National Investigation Agency. “That the NIA has not completed the investigation, it is a fact that the NIA has not sought permission of the Special Judge for extension of time for completing the investigation nor have they produced the case diary or any information regarding the progress of the investigation. That the application has been in custody for the past seven years,” he said in his application.
Purohit, whose application was posted on February 8 for hearing, in his bail plea says it was “most unfortunate” that his nationalism, intelligence and integrity was being held against him. “The learned judge has erred in holding that the applicant is likely to use his intelligence to repeat the alleged offence,” he said in his application.
Purohit also stated that he has a family comprising wife, two sons, an unmarried sister and aged mother. “The applicant has property and roots in Pune, and is not likely to abscond,” he added.
He also claimed that he was a military intelligence officer who was invited by Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) officers to train them in combating members of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and the proscribed Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI). “And the ATS officers have also appreciated his in-depth knowledge of Islam, ISI and SIMI,” he claims. In addition, Purohit also claimed that he had learnt Arabic at Panchmarhi in Madhya Pradesh.