New Delhi: The NIA court has charged Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya and others with terror conspiracy and murder and other related offences Tuesday in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blast case. The court has set the next date of hearing in the case on November 2. Also Read - EC Finds Sadhvi’s Reply on Babri Masjid Remark 'Unsatisfactory', Files FIR
Judge Vinod Padalkar, presiding over the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, framed charges against the accused persons. Under the UAPA, the accused have been charged with being part of a terrorist act, and under IPC they have been charged with criminal conspiracy and murder. Also Read - Pragya Thakur Declares Assets Worth Rs 4.5 Lakh, Says Lived Life of Sadhvi
The NIA court had also rejected Lt Col Purohit’s plea of deferring the framing of charges saying the charges were ready. However, the seven accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts pleaded not guilty after the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) framed charges against all of them. Also Read - 2008 Malegaon Case: Sadhvi Pragya Alleges Congress' Conspiracy After Being Charged Under UAPA, Says Will Come Out Clean
Earlier, the Bombay High Court on Monday refused to stay framing of charges by the trial court against Purohit and other accused in the Malegaon blast case.
However, the Bombay HC agreed to hear a petition filed by Purohit challenging his prosecution under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). The court had fixed November 21 as the date of hearing and directed NIA counsel Sandesh Patil to file a reply to the accused’s plea by then.
At least six people were killed and over a 100 were injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon on September 29, 2008. Besides Purohit, the other accused in the case are Pragya Singh Thakur, Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi.
All the accused will face trial under the UAPA since as the special NIA court had earlier this month rejected their pleas on the applicability of the anti-terror law against them.