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  Metros   Mumbai  26 Jan 2017  Rationalists murder suspects against clubbing of petitions

Rationalists murder suspects against clubbing of petitions

Published : Jan 26, 2017, 3:15 am IST
Updated : Jan 26, 2017, 7:01 am IST

The lawyer said that as per rules, petitions before a single bench should not be clubbed with those before a division bench.

Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare
 Narendra Dabholkar and Govind Pansare

Mumbai: Lawyer Sanjiv Punalekar, who represents Dr Virendra Tawade, the prime suspect in the Dabholkar-Pansare murder case and Sameer Gaikwad who was chargesheeted for the latter case, has moved an application before the Bombay high court Chief Justice saying that his clients’ petition against the stay in the cases’ trials must not be clubbed with the other three petitions. Families of the deceased and a journalist, Ketan Tirodkar, had filed the other petitions.

The HC stayed the Pansare trial before a Kolhapur court in June 2016 on a petition filed by the case’s probe agency, Maharashtra police’s Special Investigation Team (SIT), which said it could obtain a ballistic report from a forensic laboratory in UK. In the Dabholkar case, the probe agency, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), moved the court for a stay December 2016 on the same ground as cited by the SIT in the Pansare case.

The lawyer said that as per rules, petitions before a single bench should not be clubbed with those before a division bench. The accused have stated that if the CJ decides to club the matter, then the concerned division should be provide their lawyer, Sanjiv Punalekar, with all the progress reports of the CBI and SIT.

In the application, Mr Punalekar pointed out that father of one of the division bench judges were in good terms with Dabholkar. “Honourable (retd) Mr Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, father of the sitting Honourable Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari, was a personal friend of late Mr. Narendra Dabholkar. And he was closely associated with the organisation called ‘Maharashtra Andhashradha Nirmulan Samiti’.

I have been representing the person who is an arrested accused in the murder of Dr. Narendra Dabholkar and during the legal research, I have come in possession of papers and documents that include correspondence emanating from Justice Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari under his signature,” the application stated. Mr Punalekar said, “Even in the light of the aforesaid facts. I will be the last person to even remotely suggest that the Honourable Mr. S. C. Dharmadhikari should have refused himself from hearing the aforesaid petitions. The purpose of this letter is not to cast any aspersions against any sitting or retired judge. However I must point out those aforesaid three petitions never ever fell under the judicial assignment of Honourable Justice S.C. Dharmadhikari.”

The application stated that probe agencies had obtained stay on the trial of Gaikwad and Tawade till the ballistic reports of the cartridges returned from the UK.  On January 20, state lawyer had requested Chief Justice to club all the matter and be assigned to one court. In addition, Punalekar also said that if the chief justice assigns all the matters to one bench then all the reports, which probe agencies file before the court should be also be given to him.

Tags: narendra dabholkar murder case, govind pansare murder, bombay high court
Location: India, Maharashtra, Mumbai (Bombay)