Sadhvi Pragya Thakur, the main accused in the Malegaon blasts case of 2008, has been granted bail by the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.
Pragya Thakur was accused of plotting the blasts in which seven people were killed. Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Purohit, another accused in the case, was denied bail in the same hearing. Both have been behind bars for more than eight years now, though Pragya was shifted to a Bhopal hospital recently since she is a cancer patient.
Sadhvi Pragya Thakur has been told to surrender her passport to the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and was released on a bail bond of Rs 5 lakh. The court directed her not to tamper with evidence and to report to the NIA court as per the requirements.
A trial court had rejected the bail applications of both Lt Col Purohit and Sadhvi Pragya Thakur last year following which they had moved the High Court.
Twin bomb blasts rocked Malegaon on September 28, 2008, killing seven people and injuring over 100. Sadhvi Pargya Thakur was caught that year in October and Col Purohit in November. They were charged for plotting the blasts as part of the pro-Hindu group, Abhinav Bharat.
Last year, the NIA dropped charges against Pragya Thakur and five others citing insufficient evidence to prosecute them. But the Mumbai trial court denied bail to her and questioned the NIA dropping the charges.
The agency did not oppose the bail application of Sadhvi Pragya Thakur in the High Court today.
The agency has recommended prosecuting Lt Col Purohit for conspiracy and under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, though it had dropped charges under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act against him and nine others.
—By India Legal Bureau