New Delhi, Apr 24: A National Investigation Agency Special Court on Wednesday dismissed a petition to bar Bharatiya Janata Party leader Pragya Singh Thakur from contesting the ensuing Lok Sabha election.
Thakur is a prime accused in the case related to a bomb blast at Malegaon, a communally sensitive textile town in North Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008, in which six people were killed and over 100 injured.
Special Judge for NIA VS Padalkar ruled, “It is the job of electoral officers to decide. The court can't stop the accused from contesting elections.This Court does not have any legal powers to prohibit anyone from contesting elections. The court cannot bar her from contesting the polls as it is the domain of the Election Commission.'
The Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad arrested Thakur and others in the case, alleging that they were part of an extremist group which carried out the blast.
NIA later gave Thakur a clean chit but the court did not discharge her. Charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act were dropped but she is still facing trial under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and under the provisions of Indian Penal Code.
Nisar Sayyad, the father of a blast victim, filed the petition to bar her from contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha election from Bhopal. He submitted that Thakur, who is out on bail, be asked to attend court proceedings in Mumbai and barred from contesting the election as the trial was in progress.
He contended that she got bail on health grounds and if she was "healthy enough to fight elections in the crippling summer heat" then she has misled the court.
Counsel for Thakur responded that the application was "frivolous" and moved with a "political agenda.' (UNI)