Nine years after being accused in the 2008 Malegaon bomb blast case, Lieutenant Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit finally donned the army uniform which he had called the ‘outermost layer of his skin‘.
The Supreme Court on Monday granted bail to Lt. Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit. The bench of Justice R K Agrawal and A M Sapre, while passing the order, said, “We set aside the order of Bombay High Court.” The apex court further added that certain conditions will be imposed on Purohit while granting bail.
The conditions include that he won’t leave the country without prior permission from the court and that his passport must be deposited to the court along with making himself available for any investigation by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).
Soon after getting released from prison, Purohit said – “I want to wear my uniform. It is the outermost layer of my skin. I am wedded to it. I am very happy to get back into the service of the best organization in the country if not the world, the Indian Army.” I have two families — the Army and my family which includes my wife, my two sons, sister and mother. I cannot wait to return to them.”
Earlier Army sources said a call would be taken on whether he can wear his uniform or not.
What is Malegaon blast case?
A blast took place on September 29, 2008, opposite Shakil Goods Transport Company. At least seven people died, while 79 others were injured in the incident. In the initial investigation led by Maharashtra ATS, Sadhvi Pragya, Lt Colonel Shrikant Purohit, and retired Major Ramesh Upadhyay were arrested in connection with the case.
Earlier, Purohit claimed in front of the Supreme Court that he was caught in “political crossfire” and no charges against him were framed in nine years.
“I have been doing my duty. The court says that it will look into ATS charge sheet at the stage of trial and refuses interim bail even as charges are not framed against me. What kind of criminal justice system is this,” said the senior advocate Harish Salve, who was speaking on behalf of Purohit.