The special court is expected to begin framing of charges in the case on Wednesday.
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday declined the application of Lt. Col. Shrikant Prasad Purohit, wherein he challenged a sanction given by the state government to invoke UAPA sections against him in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. The court directed special NIA court to consider his application in accordance with a previous Supreme Court order. The special court is expected to begin framing of charges in the case on Wednesday.
A division bench comprising of Justices S. S. Shinde and Mridula Bhatkar was hearing the application filed by Purohit, wherein he stated that framing of charges against him should be stayed till the issue of sanction is resolved by the HC.
In his plea, he stated that he cannot be prosecuted since the sanction given by the state home ministry is unlawful. He further stated that in 2009, additional chief home secretary, granted permission to prosecute but at that time he was serving as an army serving officer. His counsel argued that the state government should have set up an appropriate authority and asked for the report. “The Supreme Court has also directed that trial in the case be expedited and hence, it would not be appropriate to grant the stay. The trial court will therefore consider the issue of the sanction as per the SC order and proceed further in the case," the court said.
NIA counsel Sandesh Patil opposed the plea and argued that in light of the SC order, it would be appropriate to allow the special court to decide the issue of sanction and proceed with framing of charges.
It has been alleged that Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit had been in touch with Ramesh Upadhyay, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts’ case. Upadhyaya had set up extreme right-wing group Abhinav Bharat, which had allegedly masterminded the blasts. During the investigation in the wake of the blasts, messages that Purohit had allegedly sent to Upadhayay were recovered by the police. Purohit was also accused of stealing 60 kg of RDX from the army — allegedly to carry out the dastardly act. Purohit was also accused of funding and training Abhinav Bharat.