Special NIA court grants last extension to absent accused in 2008 Malegaon blast case

Legal News, Nation, (Mumbai), February 26:-A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court in Mumbai on Wednesday granted the last extension to all the accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case who were absent during the hearings, including BJP MP Pragya Thakur. The court said that all the accused have to follow the earlier orders of the court of remaining present in the court at least once a week from now onwards.

So far, Thakur had been citing health or engagement as a Lok Sabha MP as reasons for absence in the court. The court also fined one of the accused, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, for filing unnecessary applications and wasting the court’s precious time.

The accused had filed an application seeking ATS case diary, which the court termed as nothing but a delay tactic and put a fine of Rs 10,000 on the accused and asked him to pay the fine within three days. Another application by Chaturvedi seeking the report of his brain mapping test was allowed by the court.

This comes a day after Bombay High Court observed that there was no progress in the trial. Besides Chaturvedi and Thakur, Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Ajay Rahirkar and Samir Kulkarni are also accused in the case.

They have been charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the Explosive Substances Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The charges include Sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the UAPA and Sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 153(a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups) of the IPC.

Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a town in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.

-(NAV, Inputs: Agencies)

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