Supreme Court grants bail to 2008 Malegaon blast accused Lt Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit

The apex court had last week reserved its verdict on Purohit's plea seeking interim bail in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

Published: 21st August 2017 10:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2017 07:44 AM   |  A+A-

Malegaon blast case accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit being taken to a session court in Mumbai. (File Photo: PTI)

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Lt. Col. Shrikant Prasad Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon serial blast case.

A bench of Justices R K Agrawal and A M Sapre said they are setting aside the Bombay High Court order by which the bail was denied.

The apex court said it has imposed certain conditions on Purohit while granting bail.

“Liberty of a citizen is undoubtedly important but this is to balance with the security of the community. A balance is required between personal liberty of the accused and the investigational rights of the agency. It must result in minimum interference with personal liberty of the accused and the right of the agency to investigate the case,” the two-member bench said while granting bail.

The Supreme Court on Monday said there were “contradictions” in the charge sheet filed by the ATS and NIA. It stated that the versions have to be tested during the trial and that it cannot pick one version over the other. The apex court added that it cannot deny bail to Purohit merely because sentiments of the community were against him.

Appearing for Purohit, lawyer Harish Salve told the court he did not want to be discharged from the case but in the interest of justice, wanted interim bail.

Caught in political crossfire, says Salve

Appearing for Purohit, senior lawyer Harish Salve told the court he did not want to be discharged from the case but in the interest of justice, wanted interim bail. Salve told the bench that Purohit was allegedly caught in the political crossfire and had been falsely implicated in the case

On August 17, Purohit had told the apex court that he has been caught in the "political crossfire" and languishing in jail for nine years.

Purohit had moved the apex court challenging the Bombay High Court's order dismissing his bail plea.

Purohit is the first Army officer in the country to be arrested on charges of terrorism. Seven people were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of north Maharashtra.

The probe into the blast, started by the Maharashtra ATS and later transferred to the NIA, chargesheeted 14 people and named Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and Swami Dayanand Pandey as key conspirators. So far, seven of those 14 have been granted bail, including Sadhvi Pragya in April this year.

A special MCOCA court had earlier ruled that the ATS had wrongly applied this law against Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, Purohit and nine others.

The 4,000-page charge sheet had alleged that Malegaon was selected as the blast target because of a sizeable Muslim population there.

 

 

 

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp