THE SPECIAL court hearing the Malegaon 2008 blast case has directed that the secrecy of documents from the court of inquiry against Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit be maintained. The court has said while the accused and the prosecution (National Investigation Agency) could refer to the documents as evidence in the case, its contents could not be shared with the public.
In January, the Ministry of Defence had approached the court seeking to maintain secrecy of the documents calling them sensitive in nature. It has made out a case for not sharing the documents with any third party, including other accused in the case.
Arguing for bail last year, Purohit had been allowed for the first time to refer to the documents of the court of inquiry carried out by the Army. The ministry had submitted to the court earlier that it would provide truncated copies blacking out portions which would impact national security.
Purohit had at that time said he was ready to provide an undertaking on not sharing the documents. The other accused including Major (retired) Ramesh Upadhyay, however, objected before the court saying they too as co-accused should be allowed to use the documents as evidence in the case.
“The court has directed that while the prosecution and the accused can use the documents for the purpose of the current case, it cannot be shared with the public or the media,” said special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal. The NIA had earlier too submitted that since the documents pertained to national security, secrecy should be maintained.