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Bombay High Court rejects discharge petition of Lt. Colonel Prasad Purohit

Bombay High Court rejects discharge petition of Lt. Colonel Prasad Purohit

On January 2, the Bombay High Court division bench of Justices AS Gadkari and Prakash Naik dismissed an appeal filed by Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, a prime accused, seeking discharge in the case of the 2008 Malegaon blast, which killed six people and injured over 101. According to the court, "causing a bomb blast is not an official duty."

Purohit filed an appeal, challenging a lower court order that denied his discharge application on the grounds that the Centre had not obtained proper sanction to prosecute a serving army officer. Purohit was arrested in 2008 and charged with violating the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, among other things. Pragya Singh Thakur, a BJP MP, and five others are also charged in the case. Purohit was granted bail by the Supreme Court in 2017, nine years after his arrest. He sought dismissal from the case on two grounds:

  • That he had been attending meetings after informing his superiors about them. He claimed to have been on duty at the time.
  • That since he was a serving officer, the prosecution agency was required to obtain sanction from the requisite authorities, and they had obtained an improper sanction.

“They wanted to form Government in exile. They were dissatisfied with the Constitution of India and had wanted to prepare their own constitution,” According to the prosecution's chargesheet. According to the agency, one of the meetings included a discussion about a bomb blast, and Purohit was in charge of obtaining RDX from Kashmir.
The court also heard written submissions from intervenor Nisar Ahmed Haji Sayed Bilal, who lost his son in the explosion. His counsel contended that Section 21 of the NIA prohibits an appeal to the High Court on both facts and law from an interlocutory order of a Special Court. It was argued that the Special Court had already considered the documents from the courts of inquiry in its order.

 

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