The father of a Malegaon blast victim has moved the Supreme Court in a plea seeking directions for effectuating a speedy trial in the Malegaon blast case by extending the tenure of the Ld. Trial Judge, who is nearing superannuation.
The plea contends that a delay in trial of the case is antithetical to Article 21 of the Constitution.
"For that due to delay in conclusion of the trial, the fundamental right of the Petitioner and other victims has been violated. Under Article 21 of the Constitution, the Petitioner is entitled to speedy trial of offences, especially when the son of the Petitioner lost his life in the said blasts", the Petition avers.
In light of the above, the Petition states that even though the mishap occurred on 29.09.2008, it has already been 12 years since the trial has been going on.
Apropos, the Ld. Presiding Officer of the City Civil Court, namely Shri Padalkar who has been trying the case is set to retire on account of superannuation on February 29, 2020 and would be replaced by another Judge who will take further time to familiarize with the voluminous records of the case, the Petitioner states in his plea.
"He has been able to examine 140 witnesses in the last 1 year and 4 months. Any new incumbent who has posted would take further time to come to grips of the record of the case which runs into thousands and thousands of pages", reads an extract of the petition.
Inter alia, the Petitioner has stated that the tenure of the Ld. Presiding Officer be extended as a change in the Presiding Officer would cause further delay in trial.
"It is submitted that the Ld. Presiding Officer is conversant with the record and it would be in the interests of justice if the term of the Ld. Presiding Officer is extended so that the trial could be completed which is pending for the last 12 years. It is after long delay of 10 years that charges were framed", he contends.
The Petitioner had previously made a representation to the Hon'ble Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court on 01.02.2020 requesting for extension of the tenure of the Presiding Officer. However, no directions were passed in that regard.
Today, BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur, who is one of the prime accused in the Malegaon blast case, appeared before the special court in Mumbai in connection with the case.
Seven persons, including Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, are facing trial in the case.
The 2006 Malegaon bombings were a series of bomb blasts that took place on 8 September 2006 in Malegaon, a town in the Nashik district of the Indian state of Maharashtra, 290 km northeast of Mumbai. Six people were killed and over 100 were injured.