The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case. Before passing the verdict, the judge heard audio and video clips of conversations between Thakur and others accused, including Lieutenant Colonel S Purohit, which were submitted by the National Investigation Agency.
The explosions had killed more than four people and left several others injured in the Maharashtra town.
The court had asked the agency to put phone call transcripts on record after the counsel of a blast victim accused the NIA of not conducting a thorough investigation into the case. “There are reasonable grounds to believe that accusations [against Thakur] are prima facie true...there are serious charges under [the] Unlawful Activities Prevention Act which are applicable and that point to her [Thakur’s] involvement,” BA Desai had said.
The counsel’s allegations came on January 20 after the NIA said that it had no objection to granting bail to Thakur in connection with the case. Appearing for the agency, Additional Solicitor General Anil Singh had told the bench that the agency did not have any evidence against Thakur. “The prime witnesses who had earlier deposed against her have retracted from their previous versions during our probe,” Singh said. The Supreme Court has also dropped charges against Thakur under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, Singh told the court.
Several people, including Thakur and Purohit, were arrested in connection with the case. The police had named 14 right-wing extremists in their chargesheet.