The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Major Ramesh Upadhyay (retired), an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. The bail was granted on the ground of parity since the other prime accused in the case, Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, had been granted bail by the Supreme Court last month. Upadhyay will now have to furnish a personal bond of Rs 1 lakh and two sureties each of the same amount.
In Pune, the retired officer’s son Vishal, 31, said that his father should be out of Taloja Jail by Wednesday evening or Thursday morning. “Once I get a copy of the order, I will manage the documents as well as the surety (amount) to meet the bail conditions,” Vishal, enrolled in final year of LLB, told The Indian Express on Tuesday.
Vishal said, “It’s been eight years and 11 months since his arrest, and everything has been haywire all these years. It was a long battle for us — I don’t know what we will do (once Upadhyay is released); it will take some time for us to figure things out.”
In the court, while the National Investigating Agency’s (NIA) counsel, Sandesh Patil, opposed the bail plea, the bench said that its hands are tied in view of the Supreme Court’s directions on the grounds of parity. Upadhyay’s counsel said that Purohit, who had allegedly played a larger role in the blast conspiracy in comparison to Upadhyay, had been granted bail by the apex court, and the same cannot be disputed by the NIA.
Besides, the defence counsel submitted, a trial court had also granted bail to two other accused in the case, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sudhakar Dwivedi. Arguing that Upadhyay played a role in the blast conspiracy, NIA’s counsel Patil said, “He attended several meetings of the Abhinav Bharat group. We have video recordings to prove his presence in some such meetings.” In November last year, the trial court had denied bail to Upadhyay, after which he had filed an appeal in the High Court challenging the order.