A person partially involved in a crime can be made an approver in the case and is liable for pardon, the Bombay High Court ruled on Monday.
Invoking the provision under section 307 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the court dismissed the petition of a co-accused, which challenged an order that permitted another accused to turn approver.
Justice VK Tahilramani dismissed the petition filed by Mahesh Thakoor (24), one of the four accused in the gang-rape and murder of Pune-based software engineer Naina Pujari (28).
On October 7, 2009, three of the accused — Yogesh Raut, Mahesh Thakoor and Vishwas Kadam — allegedly abducted Pujari after she left work. The fourth accused, Rajesh Chaudhary, who has turned approver, joined them. The four gang-raped Pujari and withdrew Rs 41,000 using her ATM cards.
After Chaudhary allegedly left, the other three strangulated her. They also crushed her head and face with stones.
In July, Chaudhary filed an application saying he repented his actions and wanted to turn approver. The court allowed him to turn approver and also granted him pardon on the condition that he would disclose everything. Thakoor had challenged this order, arguing that Chaudhary’s application is not reliable.
Thakoor’s advocate, BA Aloor, said the court admitted the application without verifying if what he intends to disclose was factual. Justice Tahilramani said the court had the discretion to take such a decision.