New Delhi, April 15: The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that there is no evidence to charge Lt Colonel Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur under the provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA).
The Supreme Court while stating that there is no evidence to charge them under MCOCA at this stage directed the trial court to examine their bail plea.
A Bench comprising Justices K M Kalifulla and Abhay Manohar Sapre directed the trial court to examine their bail plea on merit. Both Sadhvi Pragya Singh and Lt Colonel Purohit accused in the Malegaon blasts case had challenged the slapping of the stringent MCOCA charges against them.
Hear bail plea in a month
The Supreme Court directed the trial court to take up their bail plea within a month and decide the case on its merits. [Malegaon blasts: No bail for Sadhvi & Purohit, says NIA]
The accused have been in jail since the past 6 and half years since they were arrested.
The Bench observed that there was no concrete evidence to show their involvement in any other criminal case and the trial court should decide their bail plea on merit, preferably within one month.
There is considerable doubt about the involvement of six accused, including Purohit and Pragya, in Malegaon blasts and that the trial court ought to hear their bail plea afresh, the Bench also observed.
The plea before the Supreme Court
The accused had challenged the invocation of the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) in the case.
The accused denied any involvement in the blast at Malegaon in September 2008 that killed six persons and injured several other persons.
Purohit claimed that he was a military intelligence officer who had succeeded in infiltrating several militant Muslim organisations such as the Students Islamic Movement of India.
He also termed his arrest as political in nature.
The NIA however, opposed his plea stating that he was part of an organization called Abhinav Bharat which had carried out the blasts.
The NIA had also said that he had never kept his superiors updated about his actions and hence his plea be rejected.