Joined conspirators on Military obligation: Malegaon blast accused Prasad Shrikant Purohit to HC

Malegaon bomb blast case accused Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit on Wednesday informed the Bombay Excessive Court docket, by way of his lawyer, that he was gathering intelligence for the Indian Military as a part of his obligation by attending conspiracy conferences for the 2008 blast.

The excessive court docket was listening to Purohit’s software searching for that each one costs in opposition to him within the case be dropped.

Six folks had been killed and 100 others injured when a bomb strapped to a motorbike went off close to a mosque in Malegaon metropolis in Nashik district of Maharashtra on September 29, 2008.

Neela Gokhale, the counsel for Purohit, who has been booked beneath anti-terror legal guidelines by the Nationwide Investigation Company (NIA), informed a bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik that he had been assembly conspirators and attending secret conferences in a bid to collect data and go it on to the Military.

Gokhale submitted that Purohit was merely discharging his duties, and subsequently, the NIA ought to have obtained a previous sanction of the Central authorities to prosecute him.

She mentioned the part 197(2) of the CrPC (Prison Process Code) barred a court docket from cognisance of any offence that had been dedicated by any member of the Armed Forces whereas performing in discharge of his or her duties with out earlier sanction of the Central authorities.

Gokhale cited “paperwork from the Indian Military, and former Mumbai joint commissioner of Mumbai Police, Himanshu Roy, commending Purohit for the inputs and knowledge he had allegedly shared with them through the years”.

“I (Prasad Shrikant Purohit) am mentioning from these paperwork that I used to be discharging my obligation, infiltrating within the teams and reporting to my superiors for shielding nationwide safety,” Gokhale mentioned.

“And for this work, they put me in jail, tortured me, and branded me a terrorist,” the counsel mentioned.

In September final yr, Purohit had filed a pleain the HC searching for that each one costs within the case in opposition to him be quashed.

He submitted that the NIA, the prosecuting company within the case, didn’t search prior sanction beneath the Prison Process Code to prosecute him, subsequently, the courts couldn’t have taken cognisance of the fees in opposition to him.

The NIA, nevertheless, opposed Purohit’s plea.

In an affidavit filed within the excessive court docket in September final yr, the NIA had mentioned that in attending the conspiracy conferences, Purohit was not working for the Military and subsequently, no sanction beneath 197 of the CrPc was required for his prosecution.

Purohit was arrested within the case in 2009.

In line with the NIA, the motorbike used within the blast belonged to Purohit’s co-accused and BJP MP Pragya Thakur.

The HC will proceed listening to the arguments within the case on February 2.

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