Update at 11:51 AM: Argument on the validity of sanction to begin from coming Monday as the court is inclined to complete the hearing on this issue within 15 days
Update at 11:51 AM: NIA court has ruled that it will first hear the objections about the validity of sanctions for prosecutions against Lt. Col. Purohit in Malegaon Blast case
The Bombay High Court refused to defer the framing of charges against Lt. Col. Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon blast case on Tuesday and directed a special court to begin framing of charges from Wednesday. However, the Bombay High Court has asked the trial court to look into the validity of sanction which was challenged by Lt Col Purohit, following which the trial will begin.
"The order is positive as they have given direction as to who must take up the matter (regarding sanction)", says Aparna Purohit, Lt Col Purohit's wife
Earlier on Tuesday, a Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Mridula Bhatkar heard the plea filed by Lt. Col. Purohit who was in custody for almost nine years in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case before his release last year. He had filed a plea seeking a deferment in the framing of charges against him and others. The petition challenges the sanction granted to prosecute Lt Col Purohit in the case.
A week earlier, Lt Col Shrikant Purohit moved the Supreme Court and sought a Special Investigation Team (SIT) probe into the matter pertaining to his alleged abduction and torture by the Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) in 2008. In April, Lt Col Prasad Purohit was given interim relief by the Supreme Court as he was granted the liberty to raise the issue of grant of sanction to prosecute him under the stringent UAPA at the time of framing of charges.
Lt Col Purohit was arrested for allegedly masterminding the blasts in Malegaon in 2008 -- something that had been connected to the 'Hindu terror' charge that was mentioned by a number of key UPA ministers at the time but which has been shown to be little more than a political bogey. Six people were killed and nearly 100 injured when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle went off at Malegaon, a town in Nashik district of Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.
Earlier in June, a former member of the Mumbai ATS, currently suspended, told Republic TV that the recovered RDX that Lt Col Purohit was accused of having supplied to the Malegaon bombers was planted by the ATS under the then government's instructions. Mehboob Abdul Karim Mujawar, who was an ATS insider said, that the RDX was planted and the then ATS officers and the then government planted it.
"Whoever the ATS officials were at the time planted the RDX. It could be the government also", said Mujawar.
Mujawar had also asserted it had to be someone from the inside as such a huge amount of RDX was not something very usual.