The Special NIA court on Tuesday charged Lt Col Purohit and others accused in the Malegaon Blast case with murder, conspiracy and abetment, while also framing the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) charges on them.
Declining the plea of Lt Col Purohit to defer the framing of charges, the judge, while pronouncing the order stated, "Abhinav Bharat organisation was formed to create terror. You had parked a scooter at sight and due to the blast, 6 died and 102 injured. Your act comes under terror activities."
All the accused pleaded 'not guilty', before the court charged them under Section 302 of the Indian Penal Code - Punishment for murder -- Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death, or 1[imprisonment for life], and shall also be liable to fine -- before adding the UAPA charge on them.
On October 27, a special NIA court deferred the proceedings against Lt Col Purohit and other accused in the case till October 30, while dictating its order, and warned all the accused against delaying the proceedings and investigation in the case. The court also said this was the last chance for the accused to follow the court's order and remain present in court.
While the special NIA court judge dictated the order, accused Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit and Sameer Kulkarni were present before the court whereas the remaining five accused were not present, as a result of which the court issued a warning to the accused through their lawyers.
Six persons were killed and over a 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a power loom town located about 200 km from Mumbai in North Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.
Besides Lt Col Purohit and Sameer Kulkarni, the other accused in the case are Pragya Singh Thakur, Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi. All of them will face trial under the UAPA since earlier this month the special NIA court had rejected their pleas on the applicability of the anti-terror law against them.