2008 Malegaon blasts: Sadhvi Pragya gets bail, but not Purohit

deccan chronicle

India, All India

Pragya Singh Thakur has been ordered to furnish a bail amount of Rs 5 lakhs and 2 sureties, and submit her passport to the NIA.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. (Photo: File)

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted bail to 2008 Malegaon blasts accused Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur.

Pragya Singh Thakur has been ordered to furnish a bail amount of Rs 5 lakhs and 2 sureties. She will also appear in the trial court whenever summoned and submit her passport to the National Investigation Agency (NIA), ANI said.

But the Bombay HC denied bail to Lt Col Prasad Purohit, a co-accused in the case.

Thakur was in jail for the last 9 years, though she was moved to a hospital due to a serious illness.

NIA had on January 19 told the Bombay High Court that it has no objection if the HC grants bail to Thakur.

Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh, appearing for NIA, said the agency has already held that the provisions of stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) are not applicable in the case.

A division bench of Justices R V More and Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi was hearing an appeal filed by Sadhvi challenging a sessions court order rejecting her bail.

"The earlier probe agency, Maharashtra Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS), had applied MCOCA on the ground that the accused persons were involved in other blasts also and hence were part of an organised crime syndicate. However, the NIA probe has revealed that the accused persons were only involved in Malegaon blast and hence MCOCA is not applicable," Singh said.

"Even before NIA took over the probe, several prime witnesses have retracted their statements and complained that they were forced by ATS to say false things in their statements. Considering all this, we (NIA) have no objection to the court granting bail to applicant (Sadhvi)," he said.

7 people were killed and over 100 injured when two bombs fitted on a motorcycle exploded in Malegaon on September 29, 2008.