The Bombay High Court Friday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to compile and submit all previous court orders concerning the 2008 Malegaon blasts accused Pragya Singh Thakur, while questioning if a person could be “kept behind bars even if there was no charge against him or her”.
The directions came while the bench was hearing a plea filed by Thakur challenging a special court order that denied her bail. Thakur, who was given a ‘clean chit’ by the NIA earlier this year, had approached the HC through her counsel, claiming that the special NIA court that rejected her bail plea on June 28 this year, erred in doing so.
“We would like to inspect both the chargesheets and go through the special court’s orders, particularly the one denying the appellant bail. We also want to go through the original records,” said the bench.
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In her petition, she claimed that the special court failed to take into consideration the “change in circumstances” between November 2015 — when her last bail plea was rejected — and June 2016. In November 2015, following an order of the apex court, Thakur had filed a bail application before the special NIA court that was rejected after the court held that there existed prima facie evidence against her.
However, in May this year, NIA filed a chargesheet in the case absolving Thakur of all charges. NIA also dropped the stringent charge of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act against all accused.