MUMBAI: BJP Lok Sabha MP and Malegaon blast case accused Pragya Singh Thakur was on Saturday exempted from appearance at a special court in connection with the matter. Her lawyers sought an exemption from appearance from a Mumbai court as the regular Special Judge VS Padalkar, presiding over the case, was absent on Saturday, special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal said.
The exemption plea was granted by the in-charge court and matter was posted for hearing on Monday. Thakur had appeared before the court last week for the first time after winning the Lok Sabha elections from Bhopal in Madhya Pradesh.
However, she had sought exemption each day from Monday to Friday this week on health grounds. The court had, last month, directed all the accused to appear before it once a week, stating that an exemption would be granted if cogent reasons were submitted.
Thakur and six other accused persons are facing trial under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC). They have been charged under sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the UAPA.
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). The accused have also been charged under relevant sections of the Explosive Substances Act.
Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a power-loom town in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.