New Delhi, 21 August: The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Lt. Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit, one of the key accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case. He has been in jail for the last nine years. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) had opposed his bail in the last hearing, saying there was enough evidence of Purohit’s role in the blast in which seven people were killed. The apex court had last week reserved its decision on an interim bail plea filed by Purohit. His bail plea was earlier rejected by the Bombay High Court following which he approached the highest court. The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice R K Agrawal and A M Sapre, while granting bail, said, “We set aside the order of Bombay High Court.”
During the hearing, Lt Col Purohit, who is being represented by senior lawyer Harish Salve, had said he had been caught in a “political crossfire” and languishing in jail for nine years without even charges being framed against him. Purohit accepted he had attended meetings of Abhinav Bharat, a right-wing organisation whose members were accused of conspiring in the Malegaon blast, but he had acted as an army officer and passed on the information to his senior officers about the group’s activities.