Dabholkar murder case: Bombay HC seeks CBI’s response to bail plea of prime accused

The Bombay High Court on Tuesday directed CBI to respond within two weeks to the bail plea of Virendrasingh Tawade, a prime accused in the 2013 case of the killing of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in Pune.

Tawade claimed that the special Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) Court in Pune erred while refusing his bail on ‘flawed grounds’ and passed the order without ‘application of mind’ and in ‘ routine and mechanical manner.’

A division bench of Justice S S Shinde and Justice N J Jamadar was hearing Tawade’s appeal filed through advocate Virendra Ichalkaranjikar against the September 15, 2020 order of the special court that rejected his bail plea, his third bail application since he was arrested.

The CBI had first arrested ENT surgeon and Sanatan Sanstha member Tawade in June 2016, alleging that he was the mastermind of the conspiracy to kill Dabholkar.

 

A Special Court in Pune last week framed charges against the five accused including Tawade, marking the beginning of the trial. The accused, who are all linked to the radical outfit Sanatan Sanstha, pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

After CBI counsel sought time to file an affidavit in reply to the plea, HC allowed the same and posted further hearing to October 13.

Dr Dabholkar, a rationalist and founder of the anti-superstition organisation Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, was shot dead by two assailants while he was on a morning walk on the V R Shinde Bridge in the heart of Pune, on August 20 in 2013. He was 67.

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