Mumbai: In the mid of ongoing General Elections of 2019, the controversial topic of Pragya Singh Thakur does not seem to be reaching any conclusion. A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court, on Wednesday, rejected a plea by Nisar Bilal whose son Sayyed Ahmed was killed along with five others in the 2008 Malegaon blast, to bar the 2008 Malegaon accused, Sadhvi Pragya from contesting the General Elections.
The court said that, contesting of Pragya in the elections can only be decided by the Election Commission (EC). The court also went on to question the NIA, why it had stated that in its 2016 additional charge sheet it had not found sufficient evidence to prosecute her.
Pragya Singh Thakur is out on bail, going to contest from Bhopal on a BJP ticket.
Outlining the restriction in its jurisdiction to bar Pragya from elections, the court said, “The issue regarding elections is not within the purview of this court and is to be dealt with by the Election Commission. With respect to elections, the present court has no legal power to pass an order restraining the contesting party. The matter is within the domain of the Election Commission and the Chief Election Officer.”
Dismissing Thakur’s plea for imposing exemplary costs on Bilal for filing a ‘frivolous plea’, the court said being the father of a man who died in the blasts, he was entitled to seek justice but needed to be more cautious and careful. The court said it was not the proper forum for Bilal to file such an application.
Bilal also accused Pragya to misguide the court, as she is out on bail on the basis of health grounds. He said that Thakur got bail on health grounds but as she is healthy enough to fight polls in crippling summer heat, it means she misguided the court. However, the court did not find any misguidance from Pragya and said that until this juncture, the bail plea conditions imposed by the Bombay High Court have not been violated by the accused. The court said considering the formal nature of the witnesses deposing in the case, the presence of the accused from 11am to 5.45pm was not essential. The court said so far, she had remained present when directed and was present when charges were framed.