Appearing before a bench of Justices R K Agrawal and Abhay Manohar Sapre, Purohit’s counsel Harish Salve contended that the officer attended meetings of Abhinav Bharat as an “Army mole” and was not involved in terrorist activities. He said there were big “holes” in the investigation conducted in the case, which is why another accused Pragya Singh Thakur was granted bail. “My client has got himself caught in a political crossfire. He has been in jail for nine years but charges have not been framed so far. He is still serving in the Army as he has not been removed. Since 2001, he has got numerous recommendations (for his work as an intelligence officer),” Salve contended.
He said Purohit, acting as a military intelligence officer, had informed his seniors about his activities and meetings of Abhinav Bharat and there are serious infirmities in the probe conducted by the Maharashtra Anti-Terror Squad (ATS) and NIA. The probe was initially carried out by the ATS before NIA took over in 2011.
“He also discussed taking revenge for atrocities by Muslims on Hindus. It was observed in retaliation to the atrocities committed on Hindus, bombs must be exploded to target that community. A voice sample of the petitioner was also confirmed by a forensic report. There are several incriminating circumstances against him that prove his deep involvement,” the agency said in its written response.
Senior advocate Amrendra Sharan, appearing for one of the blast victims’ family, told the bench Purohit would try to tamper with evidence if allowed to come out of jail.
The court reserved its verdict on appeal filed by Purohit challenging the HC order rejecting his bail