The Judge further noted that as per the statement of the special public prosecutor and NIA officer, the witness was out of reach on his mobile phone.
Mumbai: A special NIA court Thursday issued a bailable warrant against a witness for failing to appear before the court as a prosecution witness in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case despite receiving summons. NIA court Judge Vinod Padalkar observed that the witness had failed to appear before the court despite having knowledge of court proceedings.
The witness had verified the compensation amount for victims. Judge Padalkar also directed the probe agency to take note that since the trial was underway on a daily basis, the witness needed to be present before the court without fail.
The Judge said that the court had asked all the accused to remain present before the court once a week. “It is the duty of the NIA officer to call for the witness to remain present before the court for recording of evidence,” he said.
The Judge further noted that as per the statement of the special public prosecutor and NIA officer, the witness was out of reach on his mobile phone. The Judge then issued a bailable warrant of Rs 5,000 against him, which meant he could get bail immediately by furnishing the said amount.
Judge Padalkar also observed that till now, the prosecution had called only one witness per day for hearing on most dates and on some dates, the witnesses did not appear before the court at all, wasting the court’s time.
The Judge reprimanded the NIA and said that if the NIA adopted such procedure, it would not be possible for the court to decide the matter expeditiously as directed by the apex court. Seven persons, including BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Prasad Purohit and retired major Ramesh Upadhyay are facing trial in the case.
Pragya Singh hospitalised, asked to appear in special court today
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Bhopal and an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, got admitted to a Bhopal hospital a day before her appearance in court and was later discharged from the hospital.
Although the court granted her exemption from personal appearance Thursday, the Judge said that she should follow the court order, which means she is required to appear before the court on Friday.
The newly-elected MP was admitted to the hospital late night Wednesday due to a stomach ailment and discharged early Thursday morning.
Owing to her admission to hospital, she failed to personally appear before the court conducting the trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case in Mumbai Thursday.
Her lawyer told the court that she was suffering from high blood pressure and was unable to travel from Bhopal to Mumbai.
While Judge Vinod Padalkar granted her exemption from appearance Thursday, he refused to grant her exemption Friday as well. Since the court had asked all the accused to appear before the court at least once a week, Ms Thakur had just one day left to comply with the court order passed in May this year.
“Today, the exemption is granted. But she will have to appear Friday, else she will have to face the consequences,” the Judge said.
On Monday, the special court had rejected Ms Thakur’s application seeking exemption from appearance in the court this week for completing formalities related to Parliament but the court said her presence was necessary at this stage in the case.