Pragya says pendency of trial does not bar her from contesting election

BJP candidate in the Bhopal Lok Sabha constituency and main accused in the 2008 Malegaon blast case Pragya Singh Thakur told a National Investigation Agency (NIA) court on Tuesday that pendency of the trial was no bar for her from contesting the election.

She was replying to a plea filed by Nisar Ahmed Sayyed Bilal, father of Sayyed Azhar Nisar Ahmed, who was killed in the September 29, 2008 blast that also claimed five other lives.

Mr. Bilal contended that Ms. Pragya should be restricted from contesting the election as she was still facing trial for a terrorist act and a petition challenging her bail was pending before the Supreme Court.

Ms. Pragya, however, told the court that the Representation of the People Act did not restrict her from contesting the election, as only those convicted in certain offences could be disbarred. She wanted the application to be dismissed with costs.

The NIA said it had no jurisdiction over the matter as it was related to the Election Commission of India.

The trial is being conducted by special judge Vinod Padalkar and victims are testifying.


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