Bombay HC asks NIA to file affidavit detailing status of 2008 Malegaon blast lawsuit

The NIA was asked to file the affidavit within two weeks. The bench was hearing a plea filed in 2018 by Samir Kulkarni, one of the defendants in the case


Bombay High Court. Image/iStock






The Bombay High Court on Wednesday ordered the National Investigation Agency (NIA) to file an affidavit detailing the status of the trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, which is pending before a special court here.

A bench of Justices Revati Mohite Dere and VG Bisht ordered the investigative agency to update the High Court on the status of the trial and the number of witnesses examined so far.

Also read: Another witness, ex-army official, turns hostile in 2008 Malegaon blast case

The NIA was asked to file the affidavit within two weeks. The bench was hearing a plea filed in 2018 by Samir Kulkarni, one of the defendants in the case.

Kulkarni, who is the “in-person party” in the case and who pleads his case alone, argued that the trial was unduly delayed and that the relevant witnesses should be interviewed 13 years after the explosion.

Kulkarni, in his plea, claimed that despite previous orders from the Bombay High Court and the Supreme Court ordering the trial in the case to be expedited, it is proceeding at a late pace.

He further alleged that the NIA and some defendants in the case “deliberately” delayed the trial.

On Wednesday, the High Court reviewed older orders made in the case and also read some reports submitted by the special court in the past relating to the case.

He then asked the NIA to “file an affidavit detailing the status of the case, the number of witnesses remaining to be interviewed, etc.”

Six people were killed and around 90 were injured when an explosive device attached to a motorbike detonated near a mosque in Malegaon, a town in northern Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.

BJP MP Pragya Thakur is among those charged by the NIA in the case. In 2016, however, the NIA court agreed that the investigative agency wanted to drop the harsh MCOCA charges against Thakur.

Thakur continues to face charges in this case under several sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

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