The Special NIA court adjourned the hearing in the Malegaon blast case on Tuesday after one of the witness did not turn up for the statement. It also exempted Bhopal MP Pragya Singh Thakur from appearing in the court for one day after she moved an application for the same.
The court had earlier rejected her plea seeking exemption from appearing from June 3 to June 7. This week, she will have to be before the court at least once. During the hearing, the court also referred to a Supreme Court order, that had stated that trials involving political figures should be accelerated. It noted that the accused is “now an MP and a political leader”, the trial has to be expedited.
Even as her lawyers pointed out that Thakur requested for exemption in order to complete procedures in the Parliament, the court observed that there is no session till June 7. and will begin on June 17.
Two weeks ago, the court had granted exemption to Thakur and two other accused – Lt Col Prasad Purohit and Sudhakar Chaturvedi – for a week. The court is currently recording the testimony of witnesses. Till now, the NIA court has heard testimonies from those who were injured in the blast and also those who examined them.
The accused in the case are facing trial under a number of sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Accused have also been charged under sections like UAPA Sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and Sections 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act). Apart from these, they are also facing charges under IPC sections 120(b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 153(a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups).
In the recently concluded Lok Sabha elections, Pragya won from Bhopal defeating senior Congress candidate former Madhya Pradesh CM Digvijaya Singh.