Joined conspirators on Army duty: Malegaon blast accused Prasad Shrikant Purohit to HC

Malegaon bomb blast case accused Lieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit on Wednesday told the Bombay High Court, through his lawyer, that he was collecting intelligence for the Indian Army as part of his duty by attending conspiracy meetings for the 2008 blast.

The high court was hearing Purohit’s application seeking that all charges against him in the case be dropped.

Six people were killed and 100 others injured when a bomb strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon city in Nashik district of Maharashtra on September 29, 2008.

Neela Gokhale, the counsel for Purohit, who has been booked under anti-terror laws by the National Investigation Agency (NIA), told a bench of Justices SS Shinde and MS Karnik that he had been meeting conspirators and attending secret meetings in a bid to gather information and pass it on to the Army.

Gokhale submitted that Purohit was merely discharging his duties, and therefore, the NIA should have obtained a prior sanction of the Central government to prosecute him.

She said the section 197(2) of the CrPC (Criminal Procedure Code) barred a court from cognisance of any offence that had been committed by any member of the Armed Forces while acting in discharge of his or her duties without previous sanction of the Central government.

Gokhale cited “documents from the Indian Army, and former Mumbai joint commissioner of Mumbai Police, Himanshu Roy, commending Purohit for the inputs and information he had…

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