Advocate Ujjwal Nikam has denied reports that he has been officially appointed as the special public prosecutor in the Amboli double murder case.
“I have read about it in the newspapers,” Nikam told Hindustan Times. “But, so far I have received no word from the state government.”
Nikam’s name has been doing the rounds ever since chief minister Prithviraj Chavan promised families of the victims that they would be allowed to engage a prosecutor of their choice. On Wednesday, complainant in the case, Avinash Solanki alias Bali, had claimed that the government had appointed Nikam as the special prosecutor in the case. Home minister RR Patil clarified that the families of victims had indeed requested the government to have senior counsel Ujwal Nikam fight their case, but stopped short of confirming the appointment. "We had promised to provide whichever counsel they ask for. Accordingly, we will get Nikam to fight their case," Patil told Hindustan Times.
Patil added that although the case is under investigation, the state government is working towards strengthening sections 354 and 509 of the Indian Penal Code, which deal with acts of sexual harassment. "We have put our request to the central government, but we are yet to hear from them," he said.
On October 20, Keenan Santos, 24, and Reuben Fernandes, 29, were stabbed to death in the Amboli area of Andheri West after a street fight turned ugly.