BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, one of the main accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Monday appeared before the special court hearing the case and said she would not be able to appear for daily hearings, citing various reasons including threat to her life, ill-health and her constitutional duties as a public representative.
Thakur and other accused had appeared before the court on Monday, following the court’s directions.
Her lawyer, J P Mishra, informed the court she would be present whenever her presence was required, as per directions from the court. He submitted the Madhya Pradesh government had provided six armed personnel for her protection, considering the threat to her life. Travelling to the city from Bhopal for the day-to-day hearings would involve expenses related to arrangements of travel and stay for the entourage, the court was told.
Thakur also told the court she has been a patient of several diseases and is currently undergoing treatment. Her lawyer also said that as a Member of Parliament, she cited duties towards her constituency in Bhopal. While these submissions were made orally before the court, a formal application seeking exemption from appearance on a daily basis is likely to be submitted this week.
In May last year, the special court had directed all seven accused to remain present before it at least once a week unless there was a cogent reason for their absence.
The hearing was adjourned after one of the defence lawyers could not come due to a death in the family. The witness scheduled to be examined was to be questioned on the seizure of the laptop of accused Sudhakar Dhar Dwivedi. The hearing will continue on Tuesday.
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