The Bombay High Court last week granted bail to former corporator Razzak Abbas Khan, who was arrested in connection with the murder of RTI activist Bhupen Veera. The court has said that barring the probable motive there is no other evidence that links Khan to the murder.
“There is no other evidence except the motive against the applicant (Khan). The applicant is aged about 78 years and is in custody from October 2016. The investigation is completed and the chargesheet is filed. In the circumstances, I am inclined to grant bail to the applicant,” said Justice Prakash Naik in his order.
In October 2016, RTI activist Bhupen Veera was shot dead inside his home in Vakola by a lone gunman. Two days later, the Vakola police had arrested former Congress corporator Razzak Abbas Khan and his son Amzad Razzak Khan in connection with the murder. Veera, who was agitating against illegal construction in the area, had previously made complaints to authorities against Khan. The prosecution told the High Court that Amjad and Khan had commissioned the murder.
After an earlier bail plea file by Khan was rejected by the sessions court, Khan approached the HC through advocate Shabnam Shaikh claiming there was no evidence against him.
The prosecution had claimed that Veera owned a factory where utensils were made, adjacent to his house in Kalina. The police claimed that the father-son duo had allegedly encroached upon the premises of Veera, which led to a dispute between them since several years.
The prosecution opposed the bail claiming that Veera had submitted complaints against Khan and his son to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation against the unauthorised construction and several notices were issued to them and other tenants. It was claimed that even on the day of the incident, a notice was pasted at the premises of Khan stating that the premises will be demolished, which had angered the two.
Khan, however, submitted that the police only had a motive but no evidence. He further said the complaints submitted by Veera against him were not a ‘conclusive proof’ to establish his involvement. Based on the police chargesheet, Khan submitted that there was no evidence to show that he was near the place of the incident at the time of the offence. Khan’s son Amjad continues to remain in custody.