Dabholkar case: CBI custody plea rejected
A local court Tuesday rejected CBI’s plea to extend the custody of Sanatan Sanstha members advocate Sanjiv Punalekar and his aide Vikram Bhave in the murder case of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar. The duo was instead remanded to judicial custody till June 17.
Additional sessions judge Ravindra N Pande said: “I find that sufficient CBI custody on similar ground is granted and, therefore, the ground for further custody does not appear to be satisfactory. Hence, the accused Sanjiv Gajanan Punalekar and Vikram Vinay Bhave are taken in magisterial custody remand till June 17.” Advocate Ravindra Ichalkaranjikar represented Punalekar, while advocate Sameer Patwardhan represented Bhave. “I was representing Dr Virendra Tawade (one of the first accused in the 2016 case) when he was arrested. Since then, CBI is trying to find the motorbike used in the crime. That is their reason for seeking police custody of every arrested person in the case,” said Patwardhan.
Special public prosecutor Prakash Suryavanshi said the probe is monitored by the Bombay HC. Judge Pande relied upon a SC order that police custody should be an exception and not a rule in any probe. CBI had sought extension of police custody to question the duo. The conclusion was drawn based on forensic psychological assessment and forensic statement analysis performed on Punalekar by the Central Forensic Laboratory in Navi Mumbai, according to CBI.
“Punalekar had not consented for a polygraph. Forensic psychological assessment and statement analysis do not require court order. He is not cooperating, but he is a mine of information,” said CBI’s additional SP SR Singh who is probing the case.