Narendra Dabholkar, who headed anti-superstition outfit Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013, allegedly by members of a right-wing extremist group
The defence counsel on October 6 refused to admit the list of 13 documents, including the spot ‘panchnama’, submitted by the prosecution in the rationalist Narendra Dabholkar murder case in a court in Pune in Maharashtra.
Last week, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had submitted a list of 13 documents, which include the ‘spot panchnama’, ‘inquest panchnama’, seizure of cloths and articles of the deceased, and various other documents, considered evidence in the case.
As charges have been framed in the 2013 murder case, the prosecution had submitted a list of documents to Additional Sessions Judge S.R. Navandar (Special Judge for UAPA cases).
Defence counsel, Suvarna Avhad said they refused to admit the documents submitted by the prosecution.
“We moved an application before the court stating that the defence rejects all the documents submitted by the prosecution. We told the court that we will be contesting the documents during the trial,” she said.
CBI’s Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Suryawanshi said the defence rejected all the documents.
“They are not admitting anything. In normal cases, the documents like a spot panchnama, inquest panchnama are generally admitted by the defence but in the present case it is their choice whether to accept it or not,” he said.
“I will prove these documents by examining my witnesses. I will submit a list of documents and witnesses and will start with the examination,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mr. Avhad said the judge had passed an order about an article published in a Marathi daily and said that an inference can be drawn that the article was published with ‘malafide intention’. She said the court did not take any action (in connection with the newspaper article) but cautioned that due care should have been taken.
The defence had moved a plea before the court along with the newspaper article seeking to initiate a process to issue a contempt of court notice against the author, editor and the publication for publishing the article.
According to the defence’s application, the (author) of the article claims that this court (of additional sessions judge, before whose court the trial us undergoing) is conducting a trial without authority as the case involved sections under the UAPA (Unlawful Activities Prevention Act).
Dabholkar (67), who headed anti-superstition outfit Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013, allegedly by members of a right-wing extremist group.
The CBI has been conducting a probe into the case which was earlier with the Pune police. Virendra Sinh Tawde, Sachin Andure, Sharad Kalaskar, Sanjeev Punalekar and Vikram Bhave are five accused arrested in the case.
The court framed the charges against Tawde, Andure, Kalaskar and Bhave under Indian Penal Code (IPC) sections 302 (Punishment for murder), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), 34 (common intention), the Arms Act and section 16 of the stringent UAPA (punishment for terrorist act). Besides, charges were framed against Punalekar under IPC section 201 (causing disappearance of evidence or giving false information to screen offender).