Bombay HC refuses to stay trial in Malegaon blast case

Mumbai, April 01 (KMS): The Bombay High Court while hearing a petition filed by Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit involved in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blasts has refused to grant any interim stay in the ongoing trial in the case.

A division bench of Justices P.B. Varale and S.M. Modak observing that the trial had already reached midway refused to stay it.

“The trial is already midway with many witnesses already produced. We are not at all inclined towards passing any order which will block the trial,” the court said.

It noted that so far, the prosecution has examined over 245 people and around 100 remained to be examined by the special court in the city that is conducting the trial. As of March 30, as many as 20 witnesses were declared hostile by the prosecution in the case.

The high court’s observations came while hearing a request for interim stay on the trial made by Purohit’s advocate, M.R. Venkatesh.

Venkatesh was arguing on Purohit’s behalf on a plea challenging the validity of the sanction granted by the Indian government to prosecute him under the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) in the case.

The high court will hear the plea on the issue of sanction further on June 21.

Six people were killed and over 100 injured after an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque at Malegaon in North Maharashtra, about 200 kilometres from Mumbai, on September 29, 2008. The blast was carried out by the members of Hindutva organizations. All the seven accused in the case are currently out on bail. KMS—11M