The Bombay High Court (HC) on Wednesday asked the special NIA (National Investigation Agency) court to submit regular reports to it (HC) regarding the status of the trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
A division bench of justices of Revati Mohite-Dere and VG Bisht also directed the NIA to file an affidavit within two weeks giving details of the status of the trial before the special court. The trial in the case is progressing on a daily basis and 252 witnesses have been examined.
The HC was hearing a petition filed by one of the accused, Sameer Kulkarni. Arguing before the HC, Kulkarni alleged that the trial is being delayed and several relevant witnesses are yet to be examined in the case.
Pointing out earlier orders of the high court, Kulkarni said that the trial in the case has been expedited, yet the trial is being conducted at a snail’s pace. He has even alleged that along with the NIA, some of the accused persons were also deliberately delaying the trial.
Sandesh Patil, counsel for the NIA, informed the court that the trial was being conducted on a daily basis. Recently the special judge SR Sitre, who conducted the trial, was transferred and a new special judge, AK Lahoti, has taken over.
The high court went through the earlier court orders and some of the reports submitted by the special court relating to the case.
The court then asked the NIA to file an affidavit in two weeks giving details of the status of the case and the number of witnesses examined and witnesses remaining to be examined.
Six people were killed and over 100 others were injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon on September 29, 2008.
Along with Purohit and Kulkarni, four others including BJP MP from Bhopal, Pragya Singh Thakur are facing trial in the case under various provisions of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC) for committing terrorist activities and criminal conspiracy.
All the accused in the case are out on bail.