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Bombay HC refuses to stay framing of charges by lower court against Lt Col Purohit

By Chennabasaveshwar

Mumbai, Sep 4: Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to stay framing of charges by the lower court against Lt Col Purohit and others in 2008 Malegaon blast case.

The Division Bench of Justices S.S. Shinde and Mridula Bhatkar also said that matter pertaining to the validity of sanction for prosecution against Lt Col Purohit under Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act is to be decided by trial court.

File picture of Lt. Col. Shrikant Prasad Purohit. PTI file photo

The lower court on August 29 had rejected Purohit's application seeking the stay on the proceedings until the court decides on the issue of applicability of Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Special judge for the National Investigation Agency (NIA) case Vinod Padalkar had scheduled the framing of charges for September 5.

Also Read | Malegaon: Brave cops save 5 people from being lynched by mob over child-trafficking rumour

According to Purohit's lawyer Shrikant Shivde, the sanction, issued on January 17, 2009 by the additional chief secretary of the Maharashtra Home Department, was invalid. Under the UAPA, the state Law and Judiciary department has to constitute an appropriate authority and seek its report first, before giving nod for sanction. While the sanction was given in January 2009, this authority was appointed in October 2010, he said, reported PTI. The apex court held in April this year that Purohit can raise the issue of the validity of sanction before the trial court at the time of trial or before the high court.

Also Read | Malegaon blast case: Army to review Purohit's suspension from service after examining SC order

Six persons were killed and over 100 were injured when an explosive device, strapped to a motorcycle, went off near a mosque in Malegaon, Maharashtra on September 29, 2008.

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