2008 Malegaon blast case:  Col Purohit moves Bombay High Court seeking discharge

Mumbai: The founder of the Abhinav Bharat group and serving army man – Lieutenant Colonel (Lt. Col.) Prasad Shrikant Purohit, prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, has approached the Bombay High Court. He has moved the HC challenging the orders of the special court, which refused to discharge him from the case. Col. Purohit has moved the division bench headed by Justice Satyaranjan Dharmadhikari seeking quashing of the order passed by the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Dec 2017.

The special NIA court in December had turned down Col. Purohit’s plea seeking discharge from the case. The court had however dropped the stringent MCOCA against him and other accused in the case including Hindu right wing terrorist Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. The special court had however, clarified it would not drop charges under the anti-terror law Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, murder and criminal conspiracy, against Purohit and other accused.

The special court while rejecting his discharge plea had trashed Col. Purohit’s contention that he was ‘undercover’ and attended all the meetings to generate counter-intelligence. The special court had also refused to consider the report submitted by the defence ministry which has ‘exonerated’ Purohit from the case claiming he had kept his superiors in the loop.

Being aggrieved by the orders of the special court, Purohit has now filed a criminal appeal in the HC and not to forget his appeal in the Supreme Court of India in which he has challenged the application of the UAPA in the case. The discharge application before the special court was filed by Col. Purohit only after getting bail from the Supreme Court, which overruled the judgement of the division bench headed by Justice Ranjit More of the Bombay HC denying him bail.

Advocate representing Col Purohit in the Bombay HC has confirmed the news saying, “We have challenged the orders of the special NIA court which refused to discharge our client. We have maintained the same grounds (for discharge) which were made before the special court.” Aparna Purohit, wife of Col. Purohit said, “We have challenged the entire order of the special court. “

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