Mumbai: National Investigation Agency (NIA) reiterated its earlier stand that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Pragya Singh Thakur in Malegaon blast case.
According to the report published in Indian Express, NIA was responding to the pea which was filed by Nisar Ahmed Sayyed Bilal who lost his son Sayyed Azhar in Malegaon blast.
Bilal had filed an application seeking court’s direction to bar Thakur from contesting elections as the case is under trial.
On Tuesday, Pragya Singh filed her response. She dubbed the petition as “frivolous”.
Thakur, a key accused in the case said that the plea was filed with a “political agenda” and was “publicity stunt”.
In her reply filed before the NIA court, Pragya also said, “There is no provision in the Representation of Peoples Act 1951, which disqualifies the candidate from contesting elections if a criminal case is pending against him/her.”
She added that the only act which can stop someone from contesting is under section 8 of the Representation of Peoples Act 1951.
“It is important to appreciate that sub-section 4 of sec. 8 says that even if a person who is a member of parliament or legislature of state is convicted, disqualification shall not take place if the appeal or application for revision is filed in respect of this conviction and sentenced within a period of 90 days from the date of conviction and the said conviction or sentence is stayed by the court,” the reply copy stated.
Thakur added that the Election Commission asks every candidate to furnish his/her criminal background in the affidavit submitted at the time of nomination and pendency of these cases is not stoppage to contest elections.”….the criminal jurisprudence clearly says that unless a person is convicted, he shall be deemed to be innocent,” she added.
She also accused that the intervener application filed by Nishar is to fulfil political gains and is indicative of “malicious motives”. “…the present application has attempted to pressurize the Respondent by threatening to injunct the rights of Respondent to contest election, and hand in glove with the political parties, has thereby attempted to extend political mileage to political parties contesting elections against herein respondents (Pragya),” the BJP candidate from Bhopal said.
Meanwhile, responding to the same application, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) said that ‘the matter pertains to elections and the Election Commission of India, NIA has no jurisdiction’
On Tuesday, Thakur filed her nomination papers from Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency. She was accompanied by three supporters and her advocate.
Thakur is among the seven accused facing trial in the Malegaon blast case, wherein six people were killed and a dozen others were injured when a bomb placed on a motorcycle exploded in Maharashtra’s Malegaon on September 29, 2008.
With inputs from ANI