The Supreme Court on Friday allowed 2008 Malegaon blasts case accused Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit to challenge the prosecution’s decision to charge him under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, PTI reported. He does not have to wait till the trial commences to contest the charges, the top court added.

Purohit’s lawyer, Harish Salve, moved the top court against the Bombay High Court’s December 2017 order, which denied him a chance to challenge the framing of charges.

Salve recalled that the court had said in August that the matter of “grant of prosecution sanction” could be raised at the time of trial, and claimed this had been misconstrued to mean that his client could challenge being charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act only during the trial.

The Supreme Court on August 21 granted Purohit conditional bail.

Malegaon blasts

On September 29, 2008, six people were killed and several injured in two blasts in Maharashtra’s Malegaon. Radical Hindutva outfit Abhinav Bharat was suspected to have carried them out. The Anti-Terrorism Squad had filed a chargesheet against 14 right-wing extremists in the case.

The Bombay High Court granted relief to another accused in the case, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, in April 2017, but said that the charges against Purohit were of grave nature. Both Purohit and Pragya were arrested in 2008 for allegedly masterminding the explosions.