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The NIA Court at Mumbai today rejected an application filed by Lok Sabha MP Sadhvi Pragya Thakur seeking exemption from appearing at the hearings of the 2008 Malegaon blasts case for this week.
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur had sought the exemption claiming that she needed to fulfil certain formalities in light of her election as a Lok Sabha Member of Parliament. However, the court today rejected her application, and directed her to appear for the hearings at least once a week.
Thakur is the prime accused in the 2008 Malegaon blasts, which claimed the lives of ten people and injured over 80 others. The hearings in the case are progressing before the NIA Court on a daily basis. As of today, 116 witnesses have been examined by the court. Counsel for one of the intervenors in the case, Advocate Shahid Nadeem Ansari told Bar & Bench that 300 witnesses are yet to be examined.
In April, the NIA Court had rejected an application filed by the father of one of the victims of the blasts seeking to restrain Thakur from contesting the 2019 Lok Sabha Elections. The Court, however, dismissed the application, paving the way for the BJP candidate to win the election from the Bhopal constituency.
In his application, Bilal pointed out that Thakur was granted conditional bail on medical grounds by the Bombay High Court in 2017. One of the conditions imposed was that Thakur would have to be present for hearings of the case. Despite this order, Bilal claimed, Thakur had not been attending court hearings on the pretext of ill health.