A special Mumbai court conducting trial in the 2008 Malegaon blast case Thursday issued a bailable warrant against a witness for failing to appear before it.
Judge V S Padalkar also chided the National Investigation Agency (NIA) for calling only one witness a day, saying the trial cannot proceed quickly at this rate.
The NIA officer and the special public prosecutor told the court earlier in the day that the witness (name not disclosed), who was supposed to appear this week, could not be contacted even on his mobile phone.
The judge noted that the witness was aware of the court proceedings and still remained absent.
The court issued a bailable warrant in the sum of Rs 5,000 against him.
"The accused have been asked to appear once a week... It is the duty of the NIA officer to call for witnesses to remain present before the court for recording evidence," the judge said.
Testimonies of witnesses are being recorded at present in the case.
The court observed that the NIA calls a single witness on most of the days, and sometimes no witness appears.
"If such a procedure is adopted by the NIA, it is not possible for the court to decide the matter expeditiously as directed by the Supreme Court," it said.
Seven persons, including BJP MP Pragya Singh Thakur and Lt Col Prasad Purohit, are facing trial in the case related to the blast at Malegaon in Maharashtra on September 29, 2008 in which six persons were killed.
Thakur failed to appear before the court Thursday. Her lawyer said she was suffering from high blood pressure and was unable to travel from Bhopal to Mumbai.