Manohar Kadam (56), the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) sub-inspector, convicted in the 1997 Ramabai Ambedkar Nagar firing case has said in an application before the court that he had no intention to kill anyone.
Ten people were killed in the firing.
Raja Thakare, counsel for Kadam, argued before the Bombay High Court on Tuesday that Kadam’s sentence under section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) was not sustainable since he had no intention of killing anyone.
Thakare was arguing Kadam’s bail application.
Sessions court had sentenced Kadam to life imprisonment on May 7 for causing homicidal deaths of 10 Dalits in the firing.
“The trial court proceeded on the presumption that the firing was ordered with the intention of killing people and totally misconstrued the situation in which firing was ordered,” said Thakare.
The vacation bench of the high court comprising Justice AV Nirgude and Justice RG Ketkar on Tuesday asked the public prosecutor Usha Kejariwal to reply to Kadam’s bail application and kept the matter for hearing on Wednesday.
Seeking bail for Kadam, Thakare argued that he (Kadam) had been out on bail since 1997 and had never misused the liberty.
The appeal filed by Kadam states that “most part of the judgment is devoted to the gist of the evidence given by the witnesses, however, no reasons are assigned for discarding or accepting the same.”
“The conclusion drawn by the trial court on the evidence of a prosecution witness that the passengers were asked to get down from the bus as they wanted to set the bus on fire shows that mob had no intention of taking lives is absolutely absurd,” adds the appeal.
The appeal also states that the fact that seven of the 13 injured are themselves accused in the case filed by the SRPF. “This fortifies the theory that the firing was done on miscreants alone and therefore the said firing cannot be said to be indiscriminate,” states the appeal.
Sanghraj Rupwate, lawyer for some of the victims of the firing, sought court’s permission to intervene to oppose Kadam’s bail.