The Bombay High Court on Friday came down heavily on the Maharashtra Government for failing to arrest Gulabrao Karanjule, president of the Ambarnath Municipal Council (AMC) for allegedly murdering a teenager in October last year.
“Why has he not been arrested so far,” questioned Justice Ranjana Desai while hearing a petition filed by the complainant Shivaji Nanashinde, father of the deceased teenager alleging that the police were not acting on his complaint as Karanjule due to his political influence.
Karanjule was earlier summoned by the Bombay High Court directing him to remain present in the court on two occasions. However, he has not remained present.
When Karanjule’s lawyer protested that he (Karanjule) should not be arrested as he is still the president of the AMC, Justice Desai remarked that the law was equal for all. “There cannot be exceptions in law,” observed Justice Desai.
On Friday, division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice A.V. Mohta directed Karanjule to remain present in the court on February 6, failing which necessary action would be taken against him.
Rajendra Naik, senior police inspector attached with the Ambarnath police station had told the court that they had gone to his place but he was not traceable. He also said that they had sent three police parties in the state to trace him, but he is absconding.
However, Karanjule’s advocate opposed the police statement stating that Karanjule had appeared twice before the police for questioning.
On October 26, 2006, Karanjule and a security guard of his plot were accused of murdering a teenager, Shailesh. Apparently on the same day, Shailesh's mother and the security guard, Rakeshkumar Yadav had a quarrel after the lady accidentally threw garbage on Yadav's head.
According to Shivaji, on October 26 at around 4 pm his son was cleaning sugarcanes in his shop. On hearing a loud noise he (Shivaji) came out of the shop and found his Shailesh clutching his stomach, which was profusely bleeding.
Shivaji saw two persons running away from the shop, one holding a pistol and the other carrying a country-made revolver. Shivaji later recognised them as Karanjule and Rakeshkumar Yadav. While Yadav was immediately arrested, Karanjule was not.
On October 30, the Kalyan court rejected Karanjule's anticipatory bail. Shivaji then filed a petition at the Bombay High Court seeking Karanjule's arrest.