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Let EC Decide: NIA Court Refuses to Bar Pragya Thakur From LS Poll

The NIA court said that it does not have any legal powers to prohibit anyone from contesting elections.

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Responding to a plea seeking to bar BJP candidate and Malegaon blast-accused Pragya Thakur from contesting the Lok Sabha polls, a special NIA court said on Wednesday, 24 April, that it does not have “any legal powers to prohibit anyone from contesting elections”.

“In the ongoing elections, this Court does not have any legal powers to prohibit anyone from contesting elections... It is the job of electoral officers to decide. This court can’t stop the accused number one (Thakur) from contesting elections... this application is negated.”
The court said, as per ANI.

It also pulled up the NIA, stating that at this juncture, the agency “cannot state that there is no prima facie case against the accused.”

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The lawyer of the plea’s applicant, in the NIA court, had argued that Thakur "isn't attending court proceedings on grounds of ill-health, but she is campaigning for elections where she is not looking ill.”

The NIA, meanwhile, had reiterated its earlier stand that there is insufficient evidence to prosecute Thakur in the Malegaon blast case, according to The Indian Express.

The NIA also said that it had no comments to offer on the plea against Thakur’s candidature.

“This matter is related to election and Election Commission. NIA has no jurisdiction to say anything on this matter because the matter of contesting in elections is not related to this case. It is to be decided by the Election Commission only. Hence, no comments are offered.”
NIA said, as per the report

“A Hindu Can Never Be a Terrorist”

Meanwhile, BJP chief Amit Shah on Tuesday said that Thakur was framed in false cases by those who had coined the term "Hindu terror" and indulged in vote bank politics.

“A Hindu can never be a terrorist. They have fabricated false cases to frame her (Thakur). It was a conspiracy for vote bank politics,” Shah said, while addressing a rally at Rajnagar in Chhatarpur district, as per PTI.

He also defended her candidature and called it an "absolutely right decision".

Thakur is in the eye of a storm for controversial statements that her "curse" led to former Maharashtra Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare's death in 26/11 Mumbai terror attack and that she was proud to have participated in the 1992 demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya.

She is out on bail in the 2008 Malegaon blast case.

(With inputs from ANI, PTI, Indian Express)

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