A Special National Investigation Agency court on Friday adjourned hearing in the investigating agency’s plea for in-camera trial in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, ANI reported. The court instructed the agency’s lawyer to give copies of the petition to all defence lawyers and listed the matter for August 5.
Six people were killed and 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon in north Maharashtra on September 29, 2008. Bharatiya Janata Party MP Pragya Singh Thakur is one of the accused in the case.
If the court accepts the plea, nobody except the accused will be allowed to attend the hearing. The case also cannot be reported on a day-to-day basis as the trial proceeds.
On July 22, the Bombay High Court had asked the National Investigation Agency about the estimated time by which the trial in the case would be completed. NIA advocate Sandesh Patil had informed the bench that the trial court has so far examined 124 witnesses out of 475 prosecution witnesses.
On July 8, a special court had examined the motorbike, allegedly owned by Pragya Singh Thakur, which was seized from the blast site in Malegaon.
On October 30, 2018, the special court had framed charges of murder, abetment and conspiracy for the blast against Purohit, Thakur, Sameer Kulkarni, retired major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Ajay Rahilkar and Sudhakar Chaturvedi.
Radical Hindutva outfit Abhinav Bharat is suspected of carrying out the attacks. The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad had filed a chargesheet against 14 right-wing extremists in the case.