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2008 Malegaon Blasts: Blow to Lt Col Purohit as SC Refuses SIT Probe Into 'Abduction, Torture'

The apex court said entertaining Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit's plea at this stage may impact the trial and asked him to raise the issue before a lower court.


Updated:September 4, 2018, 1:48 PM IST

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit's plea for an SIT probe into his alleged abduction, illegal detention and brutal torture in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

The court said entertaining Purohit's plea at this stage may impact the trial and asked him to raise the issue before a lower court.

Purohit had moved the Supreme Court on august 27, seeking a court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT).

Purohit in his plea, filed through advocate Neela Gokhale, said the SIT should also investigate the circumstances of handing over his custody to ATS Maharashtra by one Col R K Srivastav by "fabricating" his movement orders.

He sought compensation for suffering illegal detention and being tortured brutally by the officials of the Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS).

In his plea, Purohit said he was constrained to bring to the court's notice "the absolute illegal and arbitrary actions of the officials of the Respondent No.1 (Centre) and other agencies of the State, during the relevant time regarding the abduction of the Petitioner, a serving Officer in the Intelligence Corps of the regular Indian Army and his brutal torture in the custody".

He said he had made numerous complaints in this regard to all competent authorities and sought redressal for his grievances. "The Petitioner regrets to place on record that no authority of competent jurisdiction had taken any cognizance of the innumerable complaints/ representations made by the Petitioner. The Petitioner was incarcerated in judicial custody for nine long years and has been recently enlarged on bail by this court," he said.

Purohit referred to a recent interview given by former Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, RVS Mani to the media and a book under the name of 'The Hindu Terror-Insider account of Ministry of Home Affairs 2006-2010', saying it has revealed that the "petitioner has been framed by some factions in the previous government for political reasons, including introducing a face of terror under the guise of Saffron Terror".

"The content of the interview clearly suggests the implication of the Petitioner in a false criminal case and branding him as a terrorist only for the reason that he was breaking the back of the radicals such as SIMI, ISI terror network etc", he claimed in his plea.

Purohit said he was brutally tortured for eight days and that he had been abducted and tortured by ATS officers before being produced in court.

"He was tortured in order to extract a confession of having committed a bomb blast at Malegaon. He was produced before the Magistrate at Nashik only on the November 5, 2008, when he was shown to be officially arrested," his plea said.

He said the Petitioner is a highly decorated officer having received commendation from the Chief of Army Staff and many awards and citations for the courage he has shown in eliminating dangerous terrorists, demolishing established terror networks through a well-built and organised source input network.

"However, the Government of that day, for personal political gains, have demolished the source network that was developed meticulously by the Petitioner and other intelligence officers of the Indian Army and jeopardised the security of the nation," his plea said.

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