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Court allows Sadhvi Pragya’s plea for exemption from court only for a day

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Mumbai, June 21: Special National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Friday has allowed exemption application of the Bharatiya Janata Party's Member of Parliament Pragya Singh Thakur only for a day. She had sought exemption from appearing before the court on the grounds of ongoing Parliament session.

Thakur is facing terror charges under various sections of UAPA and others for the Malegaon 2008 blast case. Thakur had appeared before the court two weeks ago. This was the first time that she had come to court after charges were framed against her in 2018.

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur

Thakur, during her last appearance, had complained about dust in the courtroom and the chair provided for her.

Referring to her tantrums, the judge said, "There were some statements by Thakur that the premises of court hall was not clean... On humanitarian grounds the court repeatedly asked her to sit on the chair which she refused." Her statements were baseless and she "deliberately and intentionally" did not notice construction work happening in the court premises, the judge added.

The court had last month directed all the accused to appear before it once a week.

'Is that her name?': Sadhvi Pragya stokes controversy as she invokes her spiritual guru

Thakur and six others are facing trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), the Indian Penal Code (IPC) and other laws. In particular, they have been charged under sections 16 (committing terrorist act) and 18 (conspiring to commit terrorist act) of the UAPA, and sections 302 (murder) and 153 (a) (promoting enmity between two religious groups) of IPC.

Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a town in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008. According to the investigators, a Hindu extremist group of which Thakur was part carried out the blast.

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