Court denies Tawade’s bail plea in Dabholkar’s murder casepune Updated: Oct 06, 2017 21:12 IST
Additional sessions judge RN Sardesai after hearing arguments of both prosecution and defence rejected Virendra Tawade’s bail application.(HT FILE PHOTO)
The local court on Thursday turned down the bail plea of Sanatan activist Virendra Tawade, a suspect in the rationalist Narendra Dabholkar murder case.
Additional sessions judge RN Sardesai after hearing arguments of both prosecution and defence rejected the bail application. Tawade was arrested by Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on June 10 last year and was charged as co-conspirator. The arrest came almost three years after Dabholkar, 72, who led a committee for the eradication of blind faith (Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti), was shot dead by two unidentified bike-borne assailants when he was returning home at Shaniwar peth.
In its charge sheet, Tawade was accused of conspiring with another Sanatan activist to eliminate the rationalist due to longstanding enmity between the two groups as the motive behind the crime.
“The CBI is yet to catch two absconders. They need Tawade for investigation. If he is released on bail, he might tamper with evidence in the case. Further investigation is still on in the case,” CBI representative advocate Manoj Chaladan said.
This was the first time that Tawade had filed for bail in the case. Initially, Sanatan Sanstha had tried to distance itself from Tawade by claiming that he was not a part of the organisation. However, within days of Tawade’s arrest, Abhay Vartak, a spokesperson for the organisation, had said,“He is an ENT surgeon and used to come to our ashram for treating sadhaks (disciples). He was a Sanstha member, but was not holding any post.” However, according to CBI, Tawade lived in Satara and was an active member of the Sanstha for eight years before he was arrested.
Earlier, seeking bail for his client, defence counsel Virendra Ichalkaranjikar said, “CBI did not conduct the trial. They are deliberately extending the time he spends in jail. Even if we were to accept the 4,000-page CBI charge sheet, nowhere does it show that he was involved in the conspiracy. On June 1, when the CBI raided his house, they did not find anything incriminating.”
"On August 17, Tawade was checked by doctors at Sassoon Hospital as per the court’s direction. He has frozen shoulder and experiences pain. The hospital had recommended that he be given two pillows, a chair and a soft mattress which the jail authorities did not provide. Today (Thursday), the court asked for a report from the jail authorities in the matter,"aAdvocate Ichalkaranjikar said.