The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday dismissed 2008 Malegaon blast accused Lt Col Shrikant Purohit’s bail plea, and directed him to file a fresh application before the special NIA court.
A bench of justices Naresh Patil and PD Naik held that in the light of the supplementary charge sheet filed by the NIA last month, which dropped the stringent charge of MCOCA against all accused in the case, it would be best if the special court re-looked at Purohit’s bail plea.
The bench also held the special court must not be prejudiced by its previous orders, and instead consider the fresh plea in the wake of the submissions made in the supplementary charge sheet.
“In view of the new charge sheet filed by the NIA, this court is of the opinion that the NIA charge sheet should also be considered while deciding on the bail application. There is a marked change in material now with MCOCA being dropped,” the bench said.
It also directed the special court to decide upon Purohit’s plea “expeditiously”, and preferably “within six weeks” from the filing of the plea.
Purohit, who has been in custody after his arrest seven years ago, had approached the Bombay High Court in January, challenging the special court’s order rejecting his bail. He had claimed before the HC that he must be granted bail immediately on grounds that he has been under “prolonged detention” and the same “infringed his right to life and liberty” guaranteed by the Constitution.
On Thursday, Purohit reiterated that the HC must aside the previous orders of the special court against him and allow him to file a fresh plea.
Meanwhile, according to Purohit’s counsel, he is likely to file the fresh bail plea in the special court on Friday.