Mumbai, October 30: Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and five other accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case were charged with terror conspiracy, murder and other related offences by an NIA court in Mumbai on Tuesday.
The court set November 2 as the next date of hearing.
Six persons were killed and over a 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a power loom town located about 200 km from Mumbai in North Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.
Besides Purohit, the other accused case are Pragya Singh Thakur, Major (retd) Ramesh Upadhyay, Sameer Kulkarni, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi and Sudhakar Chaturvedi.
All of them will face trial under the UAPA since earlier this month, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) had rejected their pleas on the applicability of the anti-terror law against them.
On Monday, the Bombay high court refused to stay framing of charges by the trial court against them.
A bench of Justices SS Shinde and AS Gadkari, however, agreed to hear next month, a petition filed by Purohit challenging his prosecution under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
It directed the NIA counsel Sandesh Patil to file a reply to Purohit’s plea by November 21, the next date of hearing.
The bench refused Purohit’s request for staying the proceedings in the trial court, noting that in the past, both the Supreme Court and the Bombay HC had passed orders directing the trial court to expedite the hearing in the case. (Agencies)