The Bombay High Court on Monday directed the special National Investigating Agency (NIA) court to ensure that the trial in the Malegaon 2008 blast case is conducted without delay.
Six persons were killed and over a 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon in Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.
A bench of Justices SS Shinde and AS Gadkari on Monday directed advocate Sandesh Patil, who appeared for the NIA, to ensure that the agency did not seek any adjournment on Friday, October 26, the next date of hearing in the case.
The special court is likely to begin framing of charges against the accused persons on October 26.
The bench was hearing a plea filed by Sameer Kulkarni, one of the accused in the case, seeking that the trial be expedited and that the special court be directed to conduct daily hearings in the matter.
The bench, however, refused to grant Kulkarni’s plea for a day to day hearing. Instead, it noted that since there already existed a 2015 order of the Supreme Court directing that the trial in the case be conducted expeditiously, the special court must “ensure” that the order was implemented.
“The high court also said that the NIA must not seek any adjournments and let the framing of charges begin as scheduled on October 26. We gave our word to the court that we will not be the reason for any delays in the hearing. Besides, all parties and the NIA court have to implement the SC order and conduct the trial expeditiously,” Patil told agencies.
The accused persons in the case are PragyaSingh Thakur, Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Purohit, Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, and Sudhakar Chaturvedi.
All the above persons will face trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and other sections of the Indian Penal Code, including murder and criminal conspiracy.
The special court had, last week, rejected their pleas on the applicability of UAPA against them.