BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur failed to appear before a court in Mumbai Thursday – for the
second time this week – in connection with the 2008 Malegaon blast case.
Her lawyer told the court that she is suffering from high blood pressure and is unable to travel from Bhopal to Mumbai.
Thakur was hospitalised for a stomach ailment in Bhopal on Wednesday night and discharged early on Thursday, her close aide Upma said, adding the BJP MP would return to
the hospital after attending an event in Bhopal.
Thakur, who had been directed to appear before the special court in Mumbai in the Malegaon blast case, now has just a day left to comply with the court directions.
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“She (Pragya Singh) is unwell. She was hospitalised last night for medication and is suffering from some stomach-related ailment. She was administered injectable medicines,” Upma said.
“She was discharged from the hospital this morning and is taking part in a programme on request of (party) workers, but will return to the hospital immediately afterwards as she
is not well,” Upma said.
On Monday, the special court had rejected application of Thakur, who defeated Congress veteran Digvijay Singh from Bhopal, for exemption from appearance in the court this week.
Thakur had sought the exemption for completing formalities relating to Parliament but the court said her presence is necessary at this stage in the case.
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In May this year, the court, which is conducting a trial against seven accused in the case, including Thakur, directed all of them to appear before it at least once a week.
As the hearing began Thursday, Thakur’s lawyer Prashant Magoo submitted an application before NIA Judge V S Padalkar seeking exemption from her appearance in the court.
Magoo said Thakur was suffering from high blood pressure and was unable to travel from Bhopal to Mumbai. The court granted her exemption for the day and asked her to appear before it on Friday.
“Today, the exemption is granted. But she will have to appear on Friday, else she will have to face consequences,” the judge said.
The accused persons are facing trial under various sections of the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) and the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
Meanwhile, Sudhakar Dwivedi, another accused, also sought exemption from appearance claiming that he has to attend a religious function in Jammu and Kashmir, and also that because he would not be able to get a flight or train ticket to Mumbai before June 30 due to the “holiday season”.
Granting him exemption for the day, the court said, “Since the beginning of the trial, the accused (Dwivedi) has been seeking exemption on some ground or the other. It seems
he is hell-bent to remain absent by engaging in some religious functions. Since he is facing the trial, it is him duty to be present in the court.”
“It is not the business of the court (to check) that the accused is getting ticket for travel or not. The grounds in the application are not reasonable and the accused needs to be present,” the judge observed.