After Bombay HC snub, Malegaon blasts accused Lt Col Purohit moves SC

The Bombay HC had said that the nature and gravity of charges leveled against Purohit were serious and grave in nature.

New Delhi: Malegaon blasts accused Lt Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit on Friday moved the Supreme Court for bail, after the Bombay High Court order rejecting it.

While rejecting his bail on Tuesday, the High Court had said there are grave charges against Purohit and there is prima facie evidence against him.

Purohit was arrested in November 2008 and was accused of helping in the formation of a right-wing outfit, Abhinav Bharat.

According to National Investigation Agency (NIA), Purohit had allegedly taken part in conspiracy meetings and even agreed to arrange for the explosives to be used in the Malegaon blast.

But Purohit claimed the NIA had dropped the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against him and those witnesses who gave statement under the MCOCA should not be considered while deciding the bail application. Purohit had argued that the NIA was “selective” in exonerating some accused persons and that the agency made him a “scapegoat” in the case.

The court observed, “At this prima facie stage, Purohit’s arguments that provisions of Unlawful Activity Prevention Act and conspiracy not applicable to him is not accepted.”

The court considered that the nature and gravity of the charges that were leveled against Purohit were serious and grave in nature. The court said that even if MCOCA had been dropped, the gravity of other charges like waging war against the country and charges under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), Explosive Substances Act and Arms Act couldn’t be ignored.

The court considered that the punishment to which Purohit will be liable, on conviction, may extend to death or imprisonment for life.

While rejecting the bail, the court said that already some of the witnesses had retracted the statements they had made before the ATS. Therefore, apprehension of tampering of evidence and threatening witness also cannot be called as ‘unreasonable’ or ‘groundless’, it said.

The court also rejected Purohit’s contention that he should be released on bail because the trial got delayed for eight years.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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