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Tuesday, August 03, 2010 08:32:43 PM, PTI
I was Malegaon mastermind, admits Lt-Col: Lieutenant-Colonel Purohit, the first serving officer of the Indian Army to be arrested in connection with a terror bomb attack, has confessed to being mastermind of the... Read Full
New Delhi: Malegaon blast accused Lt Colonel Shrikant Prasad Purohit has approached the Armed Forces Tribunal to quash the Court of Inquiry (CoI) against him and to prevent the Army from taking further action in his case.
In his petition, Purohit has contended that the CoI convened against him should be quashed as it was "bad in law" and violated the provisions of the Army Act and rules.
After Purohit was arrested by the Maharashtra ATS in connection with the Malegaon blast in November 2008, the Army had ordered an internal inquiry which commenced on April 7 last year. After the completion of the probe in April this year, the CoI held under the Lucknow-based Central Command recommended Purohit's dismissal from the Army after finding him "blameworthy" on several counts.
In his plea, Purohit has also sought copies of statements of witnesses and documents produced against him during the CoI.
He has contended that Army Rule 180 was also violated by the authorities concerned during the CoI as he was not present when witnesses were recording statements against him.
Under the Army Rule 180, officers and jawans have the right to be present throughout the inquiry and cross-examine witnesses deposing against them.
An infantry officer, Purohit had shifted to the Military Intelligence wing and was doing a course in Arabic language when his name surfaced in the case.
Purohit, who is in jail at present, was arrested for being involved in the September 29, 2008 terror attack allegedly carried out by Hindu radical elements.
The Maharashtra ATS had also arrested Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Dayananad Pandey and a retired major, Ramesh Upadhyaya, among others, for the blast, which was allegedly planned by right-wing Hindu outfit Abhinav Bharat.
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