More than three years after it took over the investigation into the mysterious murder of Hindu radical Sunil Joshi, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) is likely to file a chargesheet in a Bhopal court on August 19.
Joshi, a former RSS pracharak whom the NIA described as the prime mover and conspirator behind a series of terror blasts, was shot dead in Dewas on December 29, 2007.
The NIA had delayed filing chargesheet in the case either citing incomplete investigation or want of a nod from the Home Ministry prompting the counsel of Sadhvi Pragya Singh, one of the accused, to question the delay.
When the matter came up for hearing on August 8, the NIA told the court that the investigation was complete and it needed some time to file the chargesheet.
NIA’s special prosecutor Subhash Bhattacharya told The Indian Express that the agency asked for time and the court granted it.
Last week, the counsel had told this paper that the chargesheet will be filed against all accused, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh, but on Wednesday he said the names will be known only when the chargesheet is actually filed. He said the Home Ministry’s permission was not needed to prosecute Pragya Singh.
Her lawyer Pramod Saxena, however, said the agency has sought extensions from the court on several occasions but did not file the chargesheet. He said for the last three months the agency maintained in the court that the chargesheet had been sent to the ministry for scrutiny.
The MP Police first investigated the murder case and were about to file a closure report three years later citing lack of progress when the Rajasthan Police, then under the Congress government, made the first arrest in the case.
The MP police then claimed to have unravelled the conspiracy before the case passed to the NIA under the UPA. Except Sadhvi Pragya Singh, the NIA has arrested a new set of accused. Her lawyer said if the NIA does file a chargesheet on August 19 her name will figure in it because the agency treats her as an accused.