Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit, who was granted bail by the Supreme Court in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case on Monday, could soon be attached to an Army unit, reported IANS. However Purohit, who is likely to return to the unit from where he was arrested, will remain suspended from service.
His return to active duty will depend on the final verdict in the case, said an unidentified Army official, according to the Hindustan Times.
Officials said Purohit’s suspension will come along with restrictions. His area of movement may be limited, and he may have to report at the station daily and may not leave without permission. He will also not be allowed to attend any public events or gathering.
“An officer under suspension is under the same restrictions as an officer under open arrest during a general court martial,” the unidentified official told the Hindustan Times. “During open arrest, an officer has to wear his uniform though he may be permitted to wear civilian clothes.”
Earlier in the day, the Supreme Court had granted conditional bail to Purohit, setting aside an earlier Bombay High Court judgment. The bench of justices RK Agrawal and AM Sapre had reserved its order on his interim bail plea on August 17, after the National Investigation Agency opposed it.
The former military intelligence officer had been in prison for nine years.
The accused had moved the apex court on April 28, days after the Bombay High Court rejected his bail plea. The High Court had granted relief to another accused in the case, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, but said that the charges against Purohit were of grave nature.
Both Purohit and Pragya were arrested in 2008 on charges of plotting the explosions carried out by radical Hindutva group Abhinav Bharat. On September 29, 2008, two blasts in Malegaon, Maharashtra, had killed at least six people and injured several others. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had filed a chargesheet against 14 right-wing extremists, including Purohit and Thakur, in the case.
BJP government protecting all accused connected to the RSS: Digvijay Singh
Congress leader Digvijay Singh on Monday accused the Bharatiya Janata Party government of protecting all the accused connected to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh after the Supreme Court granted bail to Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case.
“Colonel Purohit gets bail,” Digvijay Singh said on Twitter. “It was expected as the present BJP government is protecting all the accused connected with RSS in all bomb blast cases.”
Talking about the National Investigation Agency chief Sharad Kumar, he said, “NIA Chief has been given two extensions to ensure their acquittal. He may now be further rewarded for a suitable post retirement position.”