Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today dismissed an appeal filed by Lt Col Shrikant Purohit, one of the main accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, against the trial courts order refusing him bail. A division bench, headed by Justice Naresh Patil, asked Purohit to approach the trial court with a fresh bail plea. The trial court should hear it expeditiously, if possible within six weeks, the HC said.
The judges also asked the lower court to consider the supplementary charge sheet filed by National Investigation Agency where it has dropped the charges under stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. The `new material in the supplementary charge sheet should be taken into account by the trial court while hearing the bail plea, the HC said. Purohit had argued that he was in jail for more than seven years and as NIA had concluded the investigation, he should be set free on bail.
The trial court has consistently refused bail to Purohit since 2010. His last bail plea was rejected in October last year, following which he moved the High Court. Among other things, Purohits appeal claimed that the trial court should have appreciated the fact that he has “an outstanding meritorious record and that he risked his life to fight against terrorism across the country.” He had been framed, it said. On May 13, NIA filed a supplementary charge sheet giving a clean chit to six accused, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur. It also said Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act was not applicable in the case. Six persons were killed in a blast at Malegaon, a Muslim-majority town in north Maharashtra, in September 2008. PTI