Sadhvi Pragya gets bail in Malegaon blast case

Sadhvi Pragya, who was arrested almost nine years back, was granted bail on a surety of Rs 500,000 and two surities of same amount after the National Investigation Agency had granted a "clean chit" to her in May 2016. A division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Shalini Phansalkar Joshi was hearing the pleas filed by Sadhvi Pragya.

The duo had moved the High Court after the special court that hears terror cases probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) rejected their bail pleas. The closure report submitted in the NIA court said that there was not enough evidence to proceed against them in order to build a case.

"We have said in our order that prima facie there is no case made out against Sadhvi", More said while refusing to stay today's order.

Eight persons were killed and almost 80 others were injured when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle had exploded in Malegaon on 29 September, 2008. Thakur was arrested on October 23, 2008, following an investigation undertaken by late Anti Terrorist Squad (ATS) Chief Hemant Karkare.

However, the court rejected the bail plea of another prime accused Lt Col Prasad Purohit. But it recommended prosecuting Lt. Col. Purohit for conspiracy in the case.

NIA had on January 19 told the Bombay High Court that it has no objection if the HC grants bail to Thakur.

Last May, the NIA filed a supplementary chargesheet that dropped charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against Sadhvi Pragya and five others.

Earlier, while filing for bail, Purohit had claimed that Abhinav Bharat Trust, that the National Investigation Agency (NIA) claimed was used to procure the weapons and explosives used for the blast, was formed keeping senior army officers in the loop and was to be registered as a political party. The bail was also opposed by one Nisar Bilal, who was injured in the blast, who also moved an application to discard the charge sheet filed by the NIA.

  • Leroy Wright