Malegaon blast case: Purohit’s plea to recall witness rejected; application filed to ‘protract’ trial, says NIA court

A special NIA court here rejected a plea of 2008 Malegaon blast case accused Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit seeking to recall a witness and said the application was devoid of merits and had been filed to “protract the trial”.

Special Judge AK Lahoti rejected the application on October 7. The details of the order were made available on Friday.

This is the second instance when the court has rejected Purohit’s plea to recall a witness whose evidence was completed more than 11 months ago.

Advocate Amit Ghag, appearing for Purohit, had submitted the previous application was mainly rejected by the court on the count that no documents were filed on record and witnesses present in the court whose evidence is going on can’t be kept on lingering.

Further, the lawyer argued that those documents have been received under RTI and it is filed on record. Therefore, he prayed to recall the witness.

Special Public Prosecutor Avinash Rasal, appearing for the National Investigation Agency, opposed the plea on the ground that the prayer of the accused is already rejected by this court and, hence, production of documents at a belated stage must not be allowed.

The court, after hearing both sides, said it found substance in the argument of the SPP that the accused could have shown the documents obtained under Right to Information Act to the witness between framing of charges and examining of witness but he had not done so.

The accused, at a belated stage and after passage of long time, “trying to recall the witness as per his suitability will not be proper and not within the framework of law”, the court said


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The special judge in his order said “successive application for the same reason cannot be allowed and if it is allowed then it would tantamount to recall of earlier order passed by this court”.

“The application is devoid of merits and filed in order to protract the trial,” he added.

The court is currently recording the statements of the accused under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Under this an accused person gets an opportunity to explain circumstances appearing in the evidence against him or her.

BJP Lok Sabha MP Pragya Thakur, Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Major Ramesh Upadhyay (retired), Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Sudhakar Dwivedi and Sameer Kulkarni are facing trial under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Six people were killed and more than 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon in north Maharashtra, about 200 km from Mumbai, on September 29, 2008.

The case was initially probed by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) before it was transferred to the NIA in 2011.

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