In a setback to an accused in the murder of a Nationalist Congress Party activist from Nashik in 2010, the Bombay high court (HC) on Wednesday dismissed a petition challenging the appointment of advocate Ujjwal Nikam as a special prosecutor in the case.
NCP activist Subhash Satpute was murdered in broad daylight in Nashik, in December 2010. Deepak Tazanpure, one of the accused in Satpute’s murder, had approached HC challenging Nikam’s appointment as special prosecutor in the case.
He contended that it was contrary to the Maharashtra Law Officers (Appointment and Conditions of Service and Remuneration Rules), as the appointment was not sought by the original complainant.
A division bench of justice VM Kanade and justice ML Tahilyani on Wednesday dismissed the petition. The detailed order dismissing the petition is likely to be issued on Friday.
On the issue of Nikam’s appointment, Warunjikar argued that it was contrary to the guidelines for appointment of special prosecutors laid down by SC in a previous case. He also alleged that the appointment was made due to political interference and pressure from local ruling political party leaders
Advocate general Ravi Kadam, representing the state argued that appointment of Nikam as special prosecutor, was made pursuant to a specific request by the then police commissioner of Nashik.
He further contended that the petitioner, as an accused in the case, could not challenge the appointment, which the judges agreed with. “An accused should be the last person to object to the appointment of a special prosecutor,” the judges observed.