New Delhi [India], Feb 27 (ANI): A petition was moved in the Supreme Court on Thursday seeking directions for the government to extend the tenure of Special NIA judge VS Padalkar to complete the trial in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, in which BJP MP Sadhvi Pragya is an accused.
The petition, filed by advocate Gaurav Agarwal on behalf of the father of a victim who died in the blast, sought appropriate directions to the government so that the trial can be completed expeditiously.
"Issue appropriate writ/order or direction in the nature of mandamus or such other writ, as this Court may deem fit, directing the Government of India to extend the tenure of the Ld. Presiding Officer of City Civil Court and Addl. Sessions Judge, Greater Bombay, who is trying the Malegaon Blast case by appropriate duration so that the trial can be completed as expeditiously as possible," it prayed.
The plea said that despite the facts that nearly 12 years have passed since the incident took place, the trial of the said case is not yet over.
"The present incumbent, Padalkar, is going to retire on February 29, 2020. The Petitioner humbly submits that since the records are voluminous and run into thousands and thousands of pages and the case very complicated, it would be in the interests of justice, if the present incumbent continues till the trial is complete," the plea said.
It said that any new incumbent would take a long time to get familiar with the records of the case, which would delay the trial.
According to the petition, the trial in the case started with charges being framed in October 2018 and till date, more than 140 witnesses have been examined in the matter.
Besides Thakur, Lt Colonel Prasad Purohit, retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay, Sudhakar Chaturvedi, Sudhakar Dwivedi, Ajay Rahirkar and Samir Kulkarni are also accused in the case.
They have been charged under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the Explosive Substances Act and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a town in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008. (ANI)