Court rejects Pragya Thakur’s bail plea
MUMBAI: A special court on Tuesday rejected the bail application of the 2008 Malegaon blast case accused Pragya Thakur, stating that the National Investigation Agency’s (NIA) stand to exonerate her does not change the course of proceedings for Thakur.
On May 13, the NIA had submitted a supplementary charge sheet giving clean chit to six accused including Thakur and also recommended dropping of all the charges against them. The agency said that they don’t have sufficient evidence to prosecute Thakur. The NIA in their final report also questioned the credibility of the investigation done by the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).
The September 2008 blasts in the Muslim-majority Malegaon town killed six people and injured 101. It was the most prominent in a string of alleged Hindu terror cases.
After NIA’s report, Thakur had filed a bail plea saying that NIA had not pressed any charges against her. She also claimed that her health was deteriorating.
Special judge SD Tekale however, relied on the evidence collected by the ATS along with the evidence submitted by the NIA while deciding on the bail plea.
The court observed that the probe conducted by the NIA was just a further investigation, which cannot negate the evidence presented against Thakur by the ATS. The court held that for taking a decision on the bail plea, reports filed by both the agencies have to be considered. The court said that the NIA clean chit cannot be the ground for granting bail to Thakur, as there was prima facie evidence against her.
The court has further noted that the statements of witnesses submitted by the NIA in their charge sheet were recorded much before Thakur’s previous bail application was heard.
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