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Malegaon blast: HC asks NIA to inform trial completion time

The Bombay High Court Monday

sought to know from the National Investigation Agency the estimated time by which trial in the September 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case would be completed.

A division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Bharati Dangre was hearing a petition filed by one of the accused, Sameer Kulkarni, seeking for trial proceedings to be video recorded and a direction to the lower court to complete the trial within six months.

The court asked NIA advocate Sandesh Patil to inform within two weeks till what time the trial is expected to go on and give a schedule, stating by when it will be completed.

According to Patil, out of 475 prosecution witnesses, the trial court has till date examined 124 witnesses.

Meanwhile, in another matter related to the case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) sought further time to submit a list of names of prosecution witnesses whom they propose to examine out of those whose statements have been truncated.

A division bench of Justices I A Mahanty and A M Badar was hearing a petition filed by Lt Col Prasad Purohit, another accused in the case, seeking non-truncated copies of the witnesses' statements that are part of the charge sheet.

The bench posted the petition for hearing on August 2.

Patil told the court that the NIA would not examine till then the evidence of those witnesses whose names and statements have been truncated.

The high court last week directed the NIA to give names of the prosecution witnesses whom they propose to examine out of those whose statements have been truncated.

Six people were killed and 100 others injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in north Maharashtra town of Malegaon, about 200 km from here, on September 29, 2008.

In October last year, a special court framed charges under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) against Purohit, Pragya Singh Thakur (now a BJP MP), Kulkarni and some other accused persons in the case.