The Special NIA Court today rejected an application filed by accused BJP MP from Bhopal Pragya Singh Thakur seeking exemption from appearance every week. Court had directed all accused to remain present during the ongoing trial, once a week.
In her application, Pragya had cited health concerns, traveling from Bhopal and security issues in the city of Mumbai as reasons for seeking exemption. Her advocate Prashant Magoo argued that the Bhartiya Janata Party issues a whip often on attending parliament, hence her presence was required in parliament.
Special judge Vinod Padalkar said-
"Obeying the party and attending Parliament is necessary, but no papers were submitted regarding it."
Special Court had granted Pragya exemption from appearance today. On Thursday, Judge Padalkar also took note of Pragya's antics after he left the courtroom in her previous appearance where she got upset over the dust inside the courtroom. He noted that she had deliberately not taken note of the construction work in the court premises.
Along with Lt. Col. Prasad Purohit and other accused in the case, Pragya has been charged with murder, attempt to murder, voluntarily causing grievous hurt by dangerous weapons or means, promoting enmity between different groups and punishment of criminal conspiracy. Under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, the accused have been charged under Section 3 (punishment for causing explosion likely to endanger life or property), Section 4 (punishment for attempt to cause explosion), Section 5 (punishment for making or possessing explosives under suspicious circumstances), Section 6 (punishment of abettors) of the Explosive Substances Act, 1908 and relevant sections of the Arms Act.
Pragya was granted bail on health grounds, nine years after being arrested in the case.