The accused had submitted before the court that they would be present when material was produced before the court against them.
Mumbai: Upset over the frequent absence of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur and other accused persons in 2008 Malegaon case during the trial, the special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Friday directed them to remain present in the court at least once a week. The court also disposed of an application filed by the intervener seeking direction for the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) to assist the prosecution in the case. The judge said that the application was not maintainable.
Special judge Vinod Padalkar said that it appears to the court that the accused do not attend the court for one reason or the other and prayers in all the applications are identical.
“Considering nature of offence and charges against the accused, it would not be proper for accused to remain absent forever by filing exemption applications,” observed the judge.
He also said that in absence of any cogent reason, the court has the power to reject the application seeking exemption from appearence in the court. The judge said that as per the law, it is the discretion of the court whether to grant exemption or not. “It ‘can be’ granted, not ‘shall be’ granted,” said the judge.
The accused had submitted before the court that they would be present when material was produced before the court against them. The judge however, didn’t agree with them.
Meanwhile, the court rejected an application filed by Nisar Ahmed Sayyed (59) who lost his son Sayyed Azhar in the blast. He had sought direction for the ATS officers to remain present in court during the trial to assist the prosecutor.
The judge observed that it is for the ATS to depute officers and decide whet-her or not they could remain present and it is not the business of the court to depute ATS officer to assist the public prosecutor.
Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Major (retired) Ramesh Upadhyay, Ajay Rahirkar, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Sudhakar Chaturvedi and Sameer Kulkarni are other accused in the case.