The High Court Monday reserved its order in the plea filed by Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, challenging rejection of her bail by the NIA court. A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi, hearing Thakur’s appeal, has asked her counsel, the NIA and the intervenor’s counsel to file written submissions by February 27.
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While the NIA had earlier stated that it had no objection to the court granting bail to Thakur, advocate B A Desai, lawyer of the intervenor (family of blast victim Nisar Bilal), told the court there was ‘incriminating evidence’ against the accused. Desai concluded his arguments Monday.
He said, “There are reasonable grounds to believe that accusations are prima facie true and that the Sadhvi was part of several conspiracy meetings prior to the blast. There is voluminous evidence as well as witness statements to prove this.” Desai added that the NIA taking over the investigation from the ATS and conducting a fresh probe, instead of taking the ATS’s investigations further, was illegal. He questioned the NIA’s probe, which exonerated Thakur in its supplementary chargesheet. “Prosecutor has not acted as the agent of justice in this case. The onus is now on the intervenor to place facts, as the NIA has refused to do it before the court, “ said Desai.
Thakur’s lawyer had earlier submitted that the bike in which the bomb was planted did not belong to her, and as per NIA investigations, the ATS had allegedly forced false statements and planted evidence. The Court had also gone through audio and video recordings of the conspiracy meetings held prior to the blasts after Desai pointed out discrepancies in the evidence submitted.