BLieutenant Colonel Prasad Shrikant Purohit, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, told the Bombay High Court Monday that he was “an unsung” hero of the Indian Army, who had suffered much during nearly nine years he spent in prison as an undertrial before being released on bail.
Senior advocate Shrikant Shivade, who appeared for Purohit, urged a bench of Justices SS Shinde and NJ Jamadar to direct the special NIA court in the city to decide his grievance on the issue of prior sanction for prosecution at the earliest.
Through a bunch of pleas filed in the HC, Purohit has sought that all charges against him in the case be dropped.
He has also maintained that the alleged acts of conspiracy committed by him were in discharge of his duties as an officer of the Army, and therefore, the probe agency NIA should have obtained prior sanction of the central government to prosecute him.
There exist previous orders of the HC and the Supreme Court saying that Purohit’s grievance on the issue of sanction will be considered by the NIA court at the time of trial.
However, on Monday, Shivade told the HC that since trial in the case had already begun, the NIA court must be directed to decide the issue of sanction now instead of waiting till the conclusion of the trial.
He said there were 500-odd witnesses in the case and only 181 of them had been examined before the NIA court so far.
The trial, therefore, will take a long while to conclude, Shivade told…