Millennium Post

SC clears Pragya, Purohit of MCOCA charges

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that there is no evidence to charge Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Colonel SP Purohit – accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case – under provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA). The Apex Court asked the trial court in Maharashtra to decide on the bail pleas of the accused, including Thakur, within a month.

A Bench of Justices FMI Kalifulla and Shiva Kirti Singh said provisions of the stringent MCOCA would not be considered while dealing with the bail applications of the accused, except one Rakesh D Dhawde, on the grounds that he was involved in similar offences prior to the Malegaon blast.

The accused had approached the Apex Court, challenging the Bombay High Court’s order, denying bail to them. They had also sought direction against the high court order restoring the charges under the stringent anti-organised crime law MCOCA.

The High Court had ordered that Thakur and 10 other accused in the case would face trial under MCOCA and quashed the decision of a Special Court, which had dropped charges against them under a special law.

Seven persons were killed in a bomb blast on September 29, 2008, at Malegaon, a communally-sensitive textile town in Nasik district of North Maharashtra. The probe into the blast brought into focus the activities of some right-wing Hindu groups.
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