The special NIA court hearing the 2008 Malegaon blast case allowed the exemption application of BJP MP Pragya Singh for today. Thakur had sought exemption from appearing before the court on the grounds of ongoing Parliament session, ANI reported.
The nod for the exemption comes a day after the special court rejected her plea and asserted that she would have to seek exemption daily. Special Judge V S Padalkar, while allowing her exemption plea for Thursday had said the exemption sought till “further orders”, cannot be allowed.
The BJP MP, through her lawyers J P Mishra and Prashant Maggu, had sought exemption from appearance on various grounds. She cited the distance from Bhopal (her current place of residence) to Mumbai was over 1,000 km and it was difficult for her to travel as she is suffering from various ailments and undergoing treatment. Thakur further claimed that physical movement has been restricted for her and making special security arrangements for her each time was causing inconvenience to the public.
Her plea also stated: “That she being a woman having embraced the path of being a sadhvi has to follow strict discipline to her daily schedule of sadhna. Her diet is guided as per the ethos of the great sages of our country.”
The court had last month directed each accused in the case to be present before it at least once a week. The accused persons are facing trial under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act and the Indian Penal Code. Thakur had last appeared before the court on June 7.
Thakur is facing trial for being one of the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast, which occurred at Bhiku Chowk on September 29, 2008, at around 9.30 pm. The blast claimed the lives of six and injured over 100 people. Her lawyers submitted that after the blast, the police could not reach the site of the explosion for over six hours, and therefore could not see any motorcycle or bicycle at the spot. Investigating agencies had alleged that the motorcycle, with the registration number MH-15 P 4562, was in Thakur’s name.