Malegaon blast case: Bombay HC rejects discharge plea filed by Lt. Colonel Prasad Purohit | The Financial Express

Malegaon blast case: Bombay HC rejects discharge plea filed by Lt. Colonel Prasad Purohit

The court also questioned the argument by the Malegaon blasts accused that he had attended the meetings Abhinav Bharat as part of his official duty.

Malegaon blast case: Bombay HC rejects discharge plea filed by Lt. Colonel Prasad Purohit
Malegaon blast accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit. (File Image)

The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected a plea filed by 2008 Malegaon blast accused Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit seeking his discharge on grounds that he had attended meetings of indicted organisation Abhinav Bharat as per the instructions of his superiors.

The High Court, in the course of the hearing, questioned why Purohit could not avert the bombings if he was indeed attending these meetings as part of his official duty to gather information.

“If the contention of the Appellant that, he was directed to perform official duty to gather information regarding ‘Abhinav Bharat’ is to be accepted then the question remains to be answered that, why he did not avert the bomb blast in the civilian locality of Malegaon which caused loss of life of six innocent persons and severe to grievous injuries to about 100 persons. Even otherwise indulging in an activity of a bomb explosion causing the death of six persons is not an act done by the Appellant in his official duty,” a bench of Justices AS Gadkari and PD Naik observed, according to Bar and Bench.

The bench also rejected the contention by Purohit, a serving Army officer, that the prosecuting agency had failed to obtain proper sanction to prosecute him, a mandate under the Code of Criminal Procedure. The court, however, said that seeking proper sanction was out of the question since he had not committed the acts in his official capacity.

“According to us, there is no reasonable connection between the offence alleged against the Appellant and his official duty. The act alleged against the Appellant has not been committed in discharge of his official duty. Therefore no question at all of according sanction under Section 197 of Cr.P.C. to prosecute Appellant arises,” the court held.

The High Court was hearing Purohit’s plea challenging an order of the lower court rejecting his discharge application on the ground that the Centre had not taken proper sanction to prosecute a serving army officer.

Purohit was granted bail by the Supreme Court in the case in August, 2017. He had spent nine years in jail by then. Other accused in the case include Sadhvi Pragya and Swami Dayanand Pandey, among others. Six people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in the Nashik district of north Maharashtra.

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First published on: 02-01-2023 at 18:25 IST