The Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday directed the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file an additional affidavit countering the bail plea filed by 2008 Malegaon blast accused Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit.
A bench of justice Naresh Patil and justice PD Naik have tagged Purohit’s plea with the one filed by his co-accused Sadhvi Pragya Thakur seeking similar relief.
In July, the bench had dismissed Purohit’s appeal and asked him to file a fresh bail plea before the special NIA court in light of the supplementary charge sheet filed by NIA in June, which dropped the stringent MCOCA charge against all accused in the case.
The bench had then said it would be best if the special court reconsidered Purohit’s bail plea. The application, however, was rejected by the special court, after which he moved the HC.
Purohit, who has been in custody since his arrest seven years ago, argued he must be granted bail immediately on the grounds of “prolonged detention” as it “infringed upon his right to life and liberty” guaranteed by the Constitution.
Thakur, who was given a ‘clean chit’ by the NIA earlier this year, approached the HC in August this year, challenging the special court’s June 28 order that denied her bail. Thakur claimed that in denying her bail, the special NIA court had failed to take into consideration the “change in circumstances” in light of the NIA’s clean chit.
The HC is likely to take up the appeals for further hearing on November 16.