Mumbai: In a temporary respite for the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, the Bombay High Court on Tuesday dismissed the contention of the National Investigation Agency (NIA). The NIA had claimed the accused cannot challenge the special court’s orders before the HC.
A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Ajay Gadkari held that the orders of the special NIA court, refusing to discharge accused in the case, can be challenged before the HC. “The contention of the NIA that the accused cannot file an appeal before this court to challenge the special court’s order, is prima facie illegal,” the bench ruled.
The judges said the accused can challenge the special court’s order by filing an appeal before the HC. The bench was seized with a bunch of petitions filed by Sadhvi Pragyasingh Thakur, Colonel PS Purohit and other accused in the case, who have challenged the lower court’s orders.
The judges will now proceed with hearing arguments in the petitions filed by the accused, who have sought discharge from the case. The trial court had in December 2017, refused to discharge Sadhvi Pragya, Colonel Purohit and other accused, from the case.