The Supreme Court on Wednesday extended its order restraining the National Investigation Agency not to interrogate 2008 Malegaon blast accused Lt. Col. Shrikant Prasad Purohit and Sudhakar Dhar Dwivedi till further direction. A bench of justices H.L. Dattu and C.K. Prasad extended the stay of the Bombay High Court order allowing the agency to interrogate him and also impleaded the NIA on the bail plea of Lt. Col. Purohit.
Lt. Col. Purohit approached the Supreme Court challenging the High Court’s October 20, 2011 order allowing the NIA to take him from the judicial custody to interrogate him. The bench asked the NIA, the Centre and the Maharashtra government to file their response within a week and posted the matter for final disposal after two weeks. On December 16, 2011, the bench had stayed the operation of the High Court’s order. Mr. Dwivedi also challenged the order of the High Court and the trial court allowing the NIA to take him from judicial custody for his custodial interrogation.
Lt. Col. Purohit’s bail was rejected on November 9, 2011 by the High Court which had allowed liberty to another co-accused Ajay Rahirkar on certain conditions. “Lt. Col. Purohit was not just involved in talking about Hindu rashtra but is alleged to have been instrumental in making RDX available,” the High Court had said while rejecting his bail. “Reliability of evidence about his bragging to a witness that he had RDX in his possession and the evidence about finding of RDX on a cotton swab would have to be decided at trial. Therefore, he would not be entitled to bail,” the High Court had said.
Mr. Rahirkar was ordered to be released on bail on his furnishing a personal bond of Rs. 1 lakh with one or more solvent sureties of the same amount. Lt. Col. Purohit was arrested and issued a charge sheet in connection with the Malegaon bomb blast on September 29, 2008 leaving seven persons dead.