A Special NIA Court in Mumbai on Friday directed BJP' Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, Lt Col Prasad Purohit and all other accused of Malegaon 2008 blast case to remain present before the court at least once a week.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA) Court, which expressed displeasure over their absence in the courtroom, has set May 20 as the next date of hearing.
Six people were killed and over 100 injured when an explosive device strapped to a motorcycle went off near a mosque in Malegaon, a town about 200 km from here in north Maharashtra, on September 29, 2008.
In October last year, a special court had framed charges under the UAPA against Purohit, Sadhvi Pragya and some other accused persons in the case.
Out on bail, 48-year-old Thakur has been discharged by a court on charges under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in the 2008 case but is still facing trial under other criminal provisions.
Bringing its Hindutva plank to the fore, the BJP has fielded Malegaon blast case accused Sadhvi Pragya in Lok Sabha elections from Bhopal against Congress heavyweight and former Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.
Born in Bhind district of Madhya Pradesh, Thakur has had a long association with the RSS.
A post-graduate in history, she worked with the RSS student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Durga Vahini, women's wing of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.