The Supreme Court extended its order restraining the National Investigation Agency (NIA) 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 on Wednesday 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 20,2011 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 chargesheet 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 chargesheet 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.