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Malegaon blasts: Army to provide Lt-Col Purohit with documents

He had also written to the defence minister on April 4, requesting statements of senior armymen recorded during the CoI proceedings.

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai |
May 3, 2016 2:42:47 am
malegaon blast, malegaon, 2008 malegaon blast case, mumbai, mumbai court, mumbai news The bomb was placed in a motorcycle. (Express archive)

IN A reply before the special MCOCA court, the Army has submitted that it would provide truncated copies of Court of Inquiry-related documents, blacking out parts important to national security, to Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit. Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar had assurance last month that Purohit will be given documents sought by him except those that had any confidential details.

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Purohit, a former military intelligence officer and an accused in the Malegaon 2008 blasts, had made an application before the court on March 16 seeking copies of the Court of Inquiry proceedings against him. He had also written to the defence minister on April 4, requesting statements of senior armymen recorded during the CoI proceedings. “…on consideration of the contents of the documents sought by the applicant (Purohit)…the competent authority has come to the conclusion that the blacked out or edited portions could be considered to be given to the applicant by editing sensitive words/names and areas that could have an impact on national security, instead of blacking out the entire portion/part,” the reply before the court states.

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The Army authorities further stated that the documents including the truncated parts could be submitted to the special court in a sealed envelope if required. The excerpts sought include statements of Lt-Col S S Raikar (retd). Purohit is expected to file a reply on the Army’s response on May 4.

Purohit was arrested by the ATS in November 2008 for his alleged role in the blasts. In his letter to the Defence Minister written on April 4, Purohit stated that the Court of Inquiry papers, “prove beyond doubt that the meetings termed as ‘conspiracy meetings’ were duly reported by me before, during and after their conduct.” Purohit’s letter also stated that he was writing to the minister as a last resort since his previous pleas to obtain the documents had fallen on ‘deaf ears’.

Meanwhile, Sameer Kulkarni, one of the accused in the Malegaon 2008 case, approached the Principal Judge of the sessions court on Monday complaining against the Special Judge presiding over the 2008 blast trial. The Principal Judge rejected his plea and directed the special court to expedite trial.

Proceedings to bein-camera

The Malegaon 2008 case proceedings will be conducted in-camera entirely after a plea was filed by Lt-Col Prasad Purohit over a week ago. Earlier, in September last year, advocate Shrikant Shivde representing Purohit had approached the court seeking in-camera proceedings during the bail application filed by him. He had contended that there was fear of proceedings being ‘misrepresented’ or ‘quoted out of context’. The NIA did not object to the application.

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