The Bombay High Court accepted the discharge petition filed by 2008 Malegaon blast case accused Lieutenant Colonel Purohit on Friday. The admission of the plea comes after a sessions court rejected the discharge application by Purohit in December 2017. The hearing in the case is scheduled for July 16.
The sessions court had, however, dropped charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Purohit while rejecting his discharge application.
The case against Purohit
A blast had occurred on September 9, 2008, in Malegaon, that killed six people and injured 101. Lt Colonel Purohit, a serving Army officer, was arrested on November 4, 2008, as an accused. On the orders of the Union Home Ministry, the National Investigative Agency (NIA) took over the case on April 13, 2011
The Supreme Court, in 2015, held that the Malegaon accused cannot be charged under MCOCA since there was no evidence as on date. Clearing the way for Purohit’s release on bail, it further said the trial court should decide their bail plea on merit and without applicability of MCOCA, preferably within one month. The Supreme Court on August 21, 2017 granted bail to Purohit.
Apart from Purohit, Swami Aseemanand and Sadhvi Pragya Thakur are two other prime accused in the Malegaon blast case.
Although, both Pragya Thakur and Purohit are no longer charged under MCOCA, they will have to face trial under sections of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), for murder and criminal conspiracy.