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BJP MP Thakur skips court hearing in 2008 blast case, court issues bailable warrant against her

Mumbai, Mar 11 (PTI) A special NIA court in Mumbai issued a bailable warrant of Rs 10,000 against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, for failing to attend court's proceedings on Monday despite a direction from it.

Mumbai, Mar 11 (PTI) A special NIA court in Mumbai issued a bailable warrant of Rs 10,000 against Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha MP Pragya Singh Thakur, an accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case, for failing to attend court's proceedings on Monday despite a direction from it.

Earlier in the day, Thakur's lawyer filed an application seeking exemption from appearance for his client on medical grounds, but the plea was rejected by special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court Judge A K Lahoti.

The bailable warrant is returnable on March 20.

'It was specifically directed that the accused No.1 (Thakur) remain present on March 11 (Monday), along with medical certificates, considering her last application (filed on March 5). Despite aforesaid directions neither she is present nor the original medical certificate is produced on record,' the court noted.

'Therefore, I am not inclined to allow the present application (seeking exemption from court appearance). Issue a bailable warrant of Rs10,000 against her and it is returnable on March 20,' it added.

In the exemption plea, her advocate J P Mishra mentioned that Thakur's doctor in Bhopal, her Lok Sabha constituency, has stated that she was feeling dizzy and can travel at her own risk.

A bailable warrant contains a direction that if the person arrested executes a bail with sufficient sureties for his/her attendance before the court, he/she may be released from custody.

Last month, the Judge had warned the Hindutva activist of 'necessary action' if she failed to attend the court's proceedings in the more than 15-year-old case.

Earlier too, the court had specifically directed her to appear before it and attend the hearing.

On multiple occasions in the past, the Lok Sabha member, who has been denied renomination from the Bhopal seat for the upcoming polls, had filed exemption pleas on health grounds, which were considered by the court then.

Thakur and six other accused are facing trial in the case under provisions the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), a stringent anti-terror law, and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The court is currently recording statements of the accused under relevant provisions of the Criminal Procedures Code (CrPC).

Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped on a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a town about 200 km from Mumbai in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.

The case was initially probed by Maharashtra's Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) before being transferred to the NIA in 2011. PTI AVI ARU RSY

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