A Special NIA court Tuesday adjourned the hearing in the Malegaon blast case after a witness was not available for a statement. The court also granted an exemption from appearance to accused Pragya Singh Thakur for one day after she moved an application in this regard, reported ANI.
Earlier, the court had rejected her application seeking exemption from appearance during the trial from June 3 to June 7. Thakur will have to remain present before the court at least once this week. The court had also referred to a Supreme Court order, which had directed trials involving political figures to be expedited, and said that since Thakur is “now an MP and a political leader”, this trial has to be speeded up.
While her advocates pointed out that Thakur had sought an exemption to complete procedures in Parliament, the court pointed out that there is no session till June 7. The next Parliament session begins on June 17.
The court had, two weeks ago, granted Thakur and two other accused – Lt Col Prasad Purohit and Sudhakar Chaturvedi – exemption for a week. Currently, the court is recording the testimony of witnesses in the case. So far, the court has heard witnesses from among those injured in the blast as well as those who examined them.
The accused persons are facing trial under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). They have been charged under UAPA Sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act). They are also facing charges under IPC sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 153(a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups).
It is to be noted that Pragya recently won the Lok Sabha election from Bhopal seat despite a strong outrage against her candidature defeating Congress candidate former MP CM Digvijaya Singh.