On Thursday, the Bombay High Court dismissed an appeal filed by Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, one of the main accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, against the trial court’s order refusing him bail.
A division bench, headed by Justice Naresh Patil, asked Purohit to approach the trial court with a fresh bail plea.
The High Court said that the trial court should hear the bail plea expeditiously, preferably within six weeks if possible.
The judges also asked the lower court to consider the supplementary chargesheet filed by National Investigation Agency where it has dropped the charges under stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.
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The ‘new material’ in the supplementary chargesheet should be taken into account by the trial court while hearing the bail plea, the High Court said.
Purohit had argued that he was in jail for more than seven years and as NIA had concluded the investigation, he should be set free on bail.
The trial court has consistently refused bail to Purohit since 2010. His last bail plea was rejected in October 2015, following which he moved the High Court.
Among other things, Purohit’s appeal claimed that the trial court should have appreciated the fact that he has “an outstanding meritorious record and that he risked his life to fight against terrorism across the country.”
It also said that he had been framed.
On May 13, NIA filed a supplementary chargesheet giving a clean chit to six accused, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. It also said Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act was not applicable in the case.
Six persons were killed in a blast at Malegaon, a Muslim-majority town in north Maharashtra, in September 2008.