Former Congress MP Nilesh Rane, who is accused of abducting and assaulting a party worker, withdrew on Tuesday, his plea seeking protection from arrest and told the Bombay High Court that he was willing to surrender before the police in the case.
Rane’s submission, made through his lawyer, came after a vacation bench of the High Court said that it was “not inclined” to grant pre-arrest bail to him.
Rane, who along with four others, is facing arrest for allegedly abducting and brutally assaulting Congress party worker Sandeep Sawant in Chiplun last month, had approached HC earlier last week after a sessions court rejected his anticipatory bail application.
In his plea before the High Court, Rane denied all charges against him and said that the allegations were “politically motivated.”
Rane’s counsel, advocate Rajendra Shirodkar, also argued that Rane’s custody was not required since during the hearing on his anticipatory bail application in the sessions court the police had said that the investigations were already complete and that a chargesheet would be filed against all accused in the case within ten days’ time.
“The police have already recovered the vehicle in which the complainant (Sawant) was allegedly taken away and assaulted. At the instance of other accused persons, it has also recovered the hockey sticks allegedly used for the assault. Thus, there is nothing more that the police can recover or discover by taking Rane into custody,” Shirodkar argued.
Rane also claimed that the general perception that his and his family’s political status could be misused in the case was “unfounded.”
The prosecution however, opposed Rane’s plea saying that the allegations against him were serious and hence his custodial interrogation was required by police.
Public Prosecutor Arfan Sait also said that being a former parliamentarian and law maker, Rane should have been aware of the consequences of his actions. Sait also told the court that several “eye-witnesses in the case were refusing to come forward and testify since they were fearful of Rane and his father, Congress leader Narayan Rane’s political status.”
Taking note of the above arguments, the bench said that since it was not inclined to grant any interim protection to Rane, it would grant him the liberty to withdraw his plea and offer to surrender before the investigating authorities.
HC has given Rane time till May 24 this year to surrender before the police.