The father of a victim of the 2008 Malegaon blast has written to the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court, requesting to extend the tenure of the special court conducting the trial in the case.
Special Judge Vinod S Padalkar, who is presiding over the ongoing trial designated under the National Investigation Agency (NIA) Act, will retire on February 29. The central government, through a notification from the Ministry of Home Affairs issued on April 18, 2018, had appointed Judge Padalkar to preside over the special court on the recommendation of the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court.
The request for extension of his tenure was submitted by Nisar Ahmed Sayed Bilal, the 60-year-old resident of Malegaon who lost his son in the blast on September 29, 2008. Bilal in his application to the Chief Justice has said that the extension to the special judge be granted until the trial is completed within a fixed time frame.
“The undersigning victim along with other victims, have vested full faith in the judiciary of the country and believe that although justice has been delayed, it will not be denied to us,” the letter states. It adds that the incident took place in 2008 and the matter had moved at a slow pace with the trial not beginning despite orders from superior courts to expedite hearings.
It further states that the charges were framed against the accused, including BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur and six others, even as they had filed their opposition to it. Over 140 witnesses have deposed in the trial so far “without any fear or favour” and there has been no complaint against the judge even by the accused, the letter states.
A copy of the letter has also been sent to the Chief Justice of India and the Ministry of Home Affairs.
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