The Supreme Court has rejected Lt Col Prasad Purohit's petition challenging the Bombay High Court order dismissing his petition seeking to discharge him in the Malegaon 2008 blast case on the grounds of lack of sanction under section 197(2) of the CrPC from the Indian Army to prosecute him in the case.
A bench of justices Hrishikesh Roy and Manoj Mishra refuses to interfere with the Bombay High Court order of January 2, 2023.
The top court noted that the challenge here is to the order of the High Court whereby it was observed that sanction is not needed under section 197(2) of the Cr.P.C. for the prosecution of the petitioner as his impugned conduct does not pertain to any of his official duties.
"Having noted the basis of the impugned judgment, we see no reason to interfere with the same and accordingly, the Special Leave Petition is not entertained," the court said.
The court further noted that however, as we are informed that the trial against the petitioner is continuing, the observation made in the impugned order for the purpose of examining the issue of sanction should not prejudice either the prosecution or the defence, in the proceedings before the trial court.
"The Special Leave Petition stands dismissed," the court said.
Bombay High Court has dismissed the discharge application filed by Lt Col Prasad Purohit in the Malegaon 2008 blast case.
He had filed this as an appeal against the Special National Investigation Case (NIA) court framing charges against him in the blast case.
Purohit's appeal was mainly based on his argument that there was a lack of sanction under section 197(2) of the CrPC from the Indian Army to prosecute him in the blast case because the charge framing was not valid against him.
Purohit has challenged this order in the Supreme Court. Bombay High Court division bench has observed that Lt Col Purohit was not discharging duty as an officer of the Indian army while he was attending meetings of the Abhinav Bharat Group, as alleged by the NIA.
Purohit had moved the High Court with his plea challenging the validity of the sanction granted by the government to prosecute him under the stringent Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in the case.
Earlier, a special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court had dismissed his plea to discharge him from the case.
In the 2008 Malegaon blast case, six people were killed and over 100 injured after an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque at Malegaon in north Maharashtra, about 200 kilometres from Mumbai. (ANI)