Former Maharashtra CM Narayan Rane moves HC for removal of atrocity charges in 2002 case
Rane, MNS leader Bala Nandgaonkar and Shiv Sena’s Ravi Shendge were charged for allegedly abducting Nationalist Congress Party MLA Padmakar Valvi in June 2002 .Updated: Feb 01, 2018 00:30 IST
Former Maharasthra chief minister Narayan Rane, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) leader Bala Nandgaonkar, and Shiv Sena’s Ravi Shendge have approached the Bombay high court, seeking removal of the charges of atrocities framed against them in a2002 case.The trio was charged for allegedly abducting Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Padmakar Valvi in June 2002 in a bid to topple the then Vilasrao Deshmukh-led Democratic Front (DF) government in Maharashtra.
They have sought the removal of charges under Section 3(1)(ii) of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1998, on the grounds that Nandgaonkar and Shendge themselves belonged to Scheduled Castes and thus, cannot be charged under the provisions of the act.
The Deshmukh government won a vote of confidence in the legislative assembly on June 13 2002. On the same day, the Cuffe Parade police recorded Valvi’s statements and booked the three under sections 323, 341, 342, 365, and 506 read with Section 120-B of the Indian Penal Code for allegedly abducting, threatening and illegally detaining Valvi at Matoshri Sports Club at Jogeshwari from June 5 to June 12.
Rane and Nadgaonkar were both members of the Shiv Sena when the incident took place. Rane later joined the Congress and then shifted to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), whereas Nandgaonkar joined MNS after Raj Thackeray defected from the Sena.
According to Valvi, an MLA from Dhule Vasant Suryavanshi had sent a vehicle to pick him up on June 5. When the vehicle arrived, 5-6 people were already seated inside. He claimed that he was driven to Matoshri Sports Club, where Rane and the late BJP leader Gopinath Munde were present in the adjoining room.
Valvi alleged that the two men insisted that he write to the Governor withdrawing his support to the DF government and extending support to the BJP-Sena alliance instead. He was illegally detained at the club and assaulted by Sena workers after trying to escape the next day, he added.
The three accused have turned to the high court after the same plea was rejected by a magistrate court on July 20 2017. A division bench of Acting Chief Justice VK Tahilramani and Justice Makarand Karnik has posted the petition for further hearing in two weeks.