Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, facing trial in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, has moved the Bombay High Court, challenging the order of the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, that had last week rejected the pleas of the accused questioning the applicability of the anti-terror law against them.
Purohit has sought stay on the hearing and directions to the special judge not to frame charges till the appeal, filed on Wednesday, is decided by the High Court. Purohit has urged the court that the order passed by the special NIA court should be “quashed and set aside”.
The matter was mentioned on Wednesday before the division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice A S Gadkari, and is likely to be heard on Thursday.
On Monday, the same bench, hearing a petition of one of the accused, Sameer Kulkarni, directed the NIA not to seek an adjournment on October 26, when the court is likely to frame charges against the accused.
The bench also said that the trial should be expedited as per the Supreme Court directions. Last week, a special court in Mumbai said the accused, including Purohit, will have to face trial under anti-terror law, the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Last month, the court had begun hearing arguments by the accused on the validity of the sanction under the Act to prosecute them.
The accused had claimed that the Bombay High Court had directed that ‘reasonable opportunity’ should be given to them before charges are framed.