June 15, 2024

Moon Desk: Mumbai High Court has held that Indian Army’s Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit “had actively participated with other co-accused and organized” the September 2008 Malegaon blast case that killed at least six Muslims and injured more than 100 others.
In a 24-page order, a division bench comprising justices AS Gadkari and Prakash Naik, while dismissing Purohit’s plea seeking discharge for want of sanction for prosecution from the competent authority, held that if it is to accept the accused’s contention that he was only performing his official duty, then the question remains as to why he did not avert the blast.
The fact is, the court held, Purohit conducted various meetings with his accomplices in furtherance of their common object of the criminal conspiracy to commit unlawful activities.
Purohit and six others, including BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, are facing trial in the case and charges have been framed under various sections including the stringent Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
Neela Gokhale, counsel for Purohit, had submitted that on the date of the commission of the offence, he was a public servant and was performing his lawful duty and reasoned that the prosecuting agency should have sought a sanction from competent authorities before the filing of charges against him.
“…why he did not avert the bomb blast in the civilian locality of Malegaon which caused loss of life of six innocent persons and severe to grievous injuries to about 100 persons,” the court asked.
The judgment added that indulging in an activity of a bomb explosion causing the death of six persons is not an act done by Purohit in his official duty.
Purohit, a serving army officer, sought a discharge in the case on the grounds that he had attended meetings of the group Abhinav Bharat where the conspiracy for the Malegaon blast was hatched on instructions of his superiors.
The High Court, however, refused to accept this and said the offences committed by Purohit has nothing to do with his official duty.
“It has nothing to do or related in any manner with the discharge of the official duty of the Appellant,” it said, adding that it is totally unconnected with his official duty.
On September 29, 2008, six people were killed and more than 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a communally sensitive town in Maharashtra’s Nashik district.

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