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A special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Friday deferred framing of charges in the Malegaon Blasts case of 2008 till October 30 as some of the accused were not present in the court.

The court directed all the defence lawyers to make sure that all of them should be present on the stipulated date for framing of charges. Six persons were killed and over a 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon in Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.

Last week, the Bombay High Court had directed the special NIA court to speed up trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case in which among the accused are Lt Col Prasad Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and five others. The high court in its order observed that it’s been 10 years since the blast took place and the trial is pending for a pretty long time. “We hereby request the special NIA judge to make an endeavour to conduct the trial of on a day-to-day basis and to expedite the same,” court said.

The petition for speeding up the trial was filed by Sameer Kulkarni, accused number 5 in the case.

After the petition was filed by Kulkarni earlier this year, the Bombay High Court had sought a report from the trial court on October 9. The lower court has fixed October 26 as the day for framing of charges in the case.

                                                                                                      —India Legal Bureau

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