The special court in Mumbai on Wednesday said it will hear objections to the validity of sanction for prosecution against the accused, including Colonel Prasad Purohit, in the 2008 Malegaon blast case from next week onwards. The court will hear the accused on point of sanction under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act from September 10.
The accused including Purohit Prasad, who is out on bail in the case, have objected to the validity of sanction of prosecution against them.
Earlier, on Tuesday, the Bombay High Court had refused to grant a stay on framing of charges against seven accused, including Prasad Purohit, in the case. The accused had moved an application on Monday, seeking a stay on the framing of charges by the trial court, which was scheduled for Wednesday. The application moved by Purohit said he had moved the trial court to defer the framing of charges until the high court decided the validity of the sanction for prosecution granted by the central government to prosecute him under Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) in the appeal.
In its previous hearing on August 30, the court had directed all seven accused, including Purohit and Pragya Singh Thakur, to appear before it on September 5 for framing of charges. The court had rejected the discharge applications of the seven accused, including Purohit, Thakur, Dhardwivedi, Sameer Kulkarni, Major (retired) Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar and Sudhakar Chaturvedi. All the accused are currently out on bail.
In December last year, the special court had dropped charges against all 12 accused under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), while directing that seven of the accused would continue to face trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other sections including murder, criminal conspiracy under the Indian Penal Code. The charges against them, however, are yet to be framed.
Meanwhile, on Tuesday, the Supreme Court refused to entertain Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit’s plea for a Special Investigation Probe into his alleged abduction and torture by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in connection with the case. The court said it may have an impact on the ongoing trial. However, the bench of Justices Ranjan Gogoi, Navin Sinha and K M Joseph agreed with senior advocate Harish Salve, who appeared for Purohit, that the matter raised by the petitioner had to be looked into. The court allowed Purohit to raise the issue before the trial court judge.
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