Malegaon case: Sadhvi gets bail, Purohit's plea rejected

Malegaon case: Sadhvi gets bail, Purohit's plea rejected

Malegaon case: Sadhvi gets bail, Purohit's plea rejected

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, a key accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast.

The court, however, rejected the bail plea of Lt Col Prasad Purohit in the same case.

A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi highlighted the agreements and disagreements on aspects of probe conducted initially by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) of the Maharashtra police and then by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

“The appeal is allowed...the applicant (Sadhvi) is directed to be released on bail on a surety of Rs 5 lakh. The appeal filed by Prasad Purohit stands dismissed...we have said in our order that prima facie there is no case made out against Sadhvi,” the bench noted while rejecting a stay on her release.
 
Sadhvi and Purohit were arrested by the ATS, which was then headed by special inspector general of police Hemant Karkare, who was killed during the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.

In 2011, the case was taken over by the NIA. The suspects were part of the group Abhinav Bharat.  
In the order, the bench said: “....in its investigation, the NIA has re-recorded the statements of some of the witnesses. Some part of the investigation done by the ATS is accepted by the NIA; whereas, some part of the investigation done by the ATS is not relied upon by the NIA. The NIA has not only exonerated the appellant, but also some other accused from all the charges. The NIA has also dropped the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) charge against all the accused. Thus, it is clear that the NIA has found itself to be not in agreement on certain points with the investigation done by the ATS.”

Challenge in SC
Meanwhile, Jamiat Ulama-e-Maharashtra said it will challenge the Bombay HC order in the Supreme Court.

Family welcomes verdict
Welcoming the order, Sadhvi’s brother-in-law Bhagwan Jha said the family will celebrate the court order. “Finally, we have won. For nine years she was in jail without evidence. Now we will celebrate nationwide,” he told reporters outside the court.
 

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