Updated: July 20, 2021 8:11:51 am
Malegaon bomb blast case accused Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit on Monday told the Bombay High Court that he was an “unsung hero” of the Army and had suffered a lot for nearly nine years in jail before he was released on bail in 2017.
Making submissions on behalf of Purohit before a division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar, which was hearing a plea seeking direction to special NIA court to decide at the earliest his grievance on the issue of prior sanction for prosecution, advocate Shrikant Shivade said Purohit was collecting intelligence for the Army by attending conspiracy meetings held before the 2008 blast. Seeking all charges against him to be dropped, Purohit’s lawyer said NIA failed to avail prior sanction to prosecute him.
Shivade submitted that while previous orders of Supreme Court and the HC said Purohit’s grievance on sanction will be considered by NIA court at the time of trial, the trial had already begun and, therefore, a special court must be directed to decide on the issue instead of waiting till the conclusion of the trial. He said there were nearly 500 witnesses and only 181 had been examined before the court so far.
“I have already suffered a lot. I have been reinstated and it is a rare gesture… I am only saying I went out of my way to infiltrate terrorist organisations…” Purohit said. “I am an unsung hero of Indian army. I was protecting the Prime Minister. The material (against me) is not sufficient for sanction. Let the trial court decide on the issue of sanction and pass order and not wait till the conclusion of trial,” he added.
Advocate Sandesh Patil, representing NIA, opposed Shivade’s arguments and said the charges in the case had been framed and trial already begun. “Let him (Purohit) wait for his turn,” he said.