The special MCOCA court has ordered an inquiry into an allegation that Lt Col Shrikant Prasad Purohit— an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case — “forged” a court order to spend six years in a hospital instead of jail.
In his plea, co-accused major Ramesh Upadhyay has sought a probe against Purohit’s long stay at a hospital. Upadhyay claimed that the copy of the court order that the jail authorities received did not have some of the important directions that contained in the actual order. This allowed Purohit to stay in the jail hospital for longer.
In April 2011 the special court had passed an order — on receipt of a medical report from the jail authorities in Taloja — directing them to admit Purohit in hospital.
“Superintendent and medical officer of Taloja central prison are directed to admit the accused 9 Prasad Purohit in the prison hospital for his further treatment for a specific period, subject to he being given adequate security coverage,” stated the alleged original order. It added, “In view of the submission by the special public prosecutor, the registrar is directed to send copies of the order to: 1) Commissioner of police, Navi Mumbai 2) Inspector General (prisons), Mumbai 3) DG Maharasthra state at Mumbai, 4) DG Nia, New Delhi, Ministry of Home affairs.”
But, the order received by the jail authorities — which Upadhyay obtained through Right to Information (RTI) — neither mentioned treatment “for a specific period” nor did it have the second paragraph of the order that stated that copies of it be sent to other authorities.
Upadhyay also stated that as per the circular dated September 21, 2012, Purohit had to be kept in Anda cell and he needed specific exemption from the jail’s superintendent if he was to be kept elsewhere. The petitioner alleged that rules were ignored to help Purohit evade his jail time.
The special public prosecutor Avinash Rasal, said, “The court has recorded the Upadhyay’s statement. It has also examined another co-accused Sameer Kulkarni in the case and has called for an inquiry.”
2008 Malegaon blast
On September 29, 2008, around 9.30 pm, a bomb exploded near Bhiku Chowk, in Malegaon. The blast took place by an “improvised explosive device” fitted upon a LML Freedom motorcycle. Six persons were killed and 101 injured in the incident that was probed initially by the Maharashtra ATS and then, taken over by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) in 2011. The ATS charged 13 persons for the crime. These included Pragya Thakur, Shrikant Purohit, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Ramesh Upadhyay, Sudhakar Chaturvedi. It also charged Jagdish Mhatre for procuring the arms, Rakesh Dhawade for assembling the bomb, Ajay Rahirkar, the treasurer of Abhinav Bharat, Samir Kulkarni, Shyam Sahu, who provided multiple SIM cards, Shivnarayan Kalsangra, Abhinav Bharat member Pravin Mutalik, and Ramchandra Kalsangra, who as per ATS, planted the bomb, and who is yet to be arrested.
The NIA in turn absolved of all charges, Pragya Thakur, Shivnarayan Kalsangra, Shyam Sahu, and Pravin Mutalik alias Takkalki.