Published On: Mon, Jan 29th, 2018

SC seeks NIA’s response on Lt Col Purohit’s plea

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday sought a response from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on a plea by 2008 Malegaon bomb blast accused Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit challenging the proceedings against him under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act in the absence of valid sanction from the competent authority.

Purohit has contended that proceedings against him are in the absence of valid sanction

Seeking a response from the NIA, Justice RK Agrawal and Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre declined to interfere with the trial court proceedings in the matter.

On December 18, 2017, the Bombay High Court had dismissed the plea by Purohit. He challenged the High Court order and the December 27, 2017 order of the Court of Special Judge under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime (MCOC) Act and NIA Act.

The trial court in its December 27, 2017 order, while discharging Purohit of the offences under the MCOC Act and the offences punishable under certain provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act, had decided to proceed against him under other provisions of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.

Purohit has contended that proceedings against him are in the absence of valid sanction from the competent authorities, and are thus a miscarriage of justice and bad in law.

Section 45(1) and (2) of the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967 say that no court will take cognizance of any offence without the previous sanction of the Central government or any officer authorised by the Central government in its behalf.

The offences for which prior sanction is required under said provisions include being a member of unlawful association, punishment for terrorist activities and offence relating to membership of a terrorist organisation or supporting it.

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