Pragya Singh Thakur asked to appear in court
While posting the matter to May 20, Padalkar warned that he might consider cancelling their bail if they do not appear or give a valid reason for exemption
A special NIA court on Friday directed all the seven accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, including BJP's Bhopal candidate Pragya Singh Thakur, to appear before it at least once a week while expressing displeasure over their absence in the courtroom.
Special NIA Judge Vinod Padalkar, conducting the trial in the case, also said that the plea for exemption must be filed by 11 am for each hearing and if the reasons for it are not cogent, the court reserves the right to take appropriate action.
While posting the matter to May 20, Padalkar warned that he might consider cancelling their bail if they do not appear or give a valid reason for exemption. The judge observed that such issues were delaying the matter.
An application filed by an intervenor to have ATS officials to assist the prosecution and NIA in the Malegaon case was also disposed of as not maintainable. Out of the seven accused, only Sameer Kulkarni was present in the court today whereas a few others had submitted reasons for their absence.
Apart from Pragya Singh Thakur, the other accused are Lt. Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, Major (retired) Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni. They have been charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The charges include sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the UAPA and sections 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder), 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 153 (a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups) of the IPC.
The accused have also been charged under relevant sections of the Explosive Substances Act. On September 29, 2018, six people were killed and a dozen others were injured when a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded in Maharashtra's Malegaon city.
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