On 4 September 2015, Supreme Court of India shall hear a Writ Petition with a prayer to ensure a fair trial in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case.

The Writ Petition filed through Advocate-on-Record Rauf Rahim prays the Court to:

pass an appropriate Writ, Direction or Order appointing an Advocate of eminence and reputation having high standards of integrity as the Special Public Prosecutor for conducting the trial in the 2008 Malegaon blasts case, etc.

Case No. Writ Petition (Crl) No. 158 of 2015
Case Title Harsh Mander v. UOI & Ors. – Writ Petition (Crl) No. 158 of 2015

The case was mentioned on 2 September 2015 by Senior Counsel Indira Jaising before the bench comprising of CJI HL Dattu, and Justices V Gopala Gowda and Amitava Roy. The bench had then passed the following order:

 Tag with WP(Crl.) No. 157 of 2015.

Thus the matter is listed on 4 September 2015 along with Writ Petition (Crl) No. 2015 – Nisar Ahmed v. UOI & Ors., which also arises out of the 2008 blasts case.

Petition alleges:

That the factual conspectus afore-stated goes a long way in showing that the government of the day has tried to interfere with the functioning of special public prosecutor, treating the post as if it is under the Government in utter disregard to the principle laid down by this Court. [Indian Express]

via Indian Express

Indian Express article

Petition cites the Indian Express article where in an interview with the newspaper, Rohini Salian, special public prosecutor in the Malegaon 2008 case has reportedly said that she had been asked to go slow in the case. Salian has said in the interview:

Last year I got a call from one of the officers of the NIA, asking to come over to speak to me. He didn’t want to talk over the phone. He came and said there is a message that I should go soft. I told him I will always support the cause of justice. Then, when we got our date for the MCOCA hearing. A day before our day when Mr Mariar Puttam, a senior counsel, was to appear for us, an additional general from the state of Maharashtra came and said, “You cannot appear for us.” He started nudging Mariar.

Supreme Court doubts about MACOCA charges against Sadhvi and Purohit

On 15 April 2015, Supreme Court in its judgment in Prasad Shrikant Purohit v. State of Maharashtra & Anr. had expressed prima facie doubts about charging Malegaon blasts accused Sadhvi Pragnya Singh Thakur, Lt. Col S. Purohit under MCOCA and had opened the doors for the Special Court to consider their bail.

Court had then ordered for an early completion of the trial in the case:

Since the occurrence is of the year 2008 and nearly seven years have gone by, it is imperative that the Special Court commence the trial at the earliest and conclude the same expeditiously. We direct the Prosecuting Agency to ensure that the necessary evidence i.e. oral, documentary as well as other form of evidence placed before the Court to enable the Special Court to commence the trial early and conclude the same expeditiously.

 The blast

On 29 September 29 2008, a blast in Malegaon had claimed four lives and injured 79 while another blast at the same time in Modasa in Gujarat killed one.