In a startling case, two inmates of the Yerawada Central Prison facing trial for their alleged involvement in a 2013 murder case “escaped” after “unidentified suspects” produced a forged bail order on their behalf at the jail office. The jail authorities not only let the two go free, they had no inkling that the bail papers were fake. It was revealed when police were asked why the two were not produced in court.
Tushar Tanaji Nimhan and Chetan Tanaji Nimhan, had “fled” on November 22 and were arrested on Wednesday, 18 days after they walked out of the jail. Police are yet to trace those who had forged the bail order and submitted forged documents.
They were behind bars for their alleged role in the murder of Prateek Nimhan (27) at the Pashan residence of his friend and the motive was believed to be political rivalry. They are sons of former Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) corporator Tanaji Nimhan.
A jailor has registered an offence against unknown persons with Yerawada Police who forged the documents and submitted them to the prison office. According to police, unknown persons submitted the forged bail order that purportedly showed it was passed by a judge on November 20, 2013 directing the authorities to release the two on bail.
An officer of the Yerawada Police Station investigating the case, said, “The two accused are in prison for the murder of Prateek Nimhan.
They were frustrated that the court was not granting bail. It seems some persons on their behalf — either friends or relatives — prepared fake documents that had a forged sign and stamp of the District and Sessions Judge. Based on these documents, jail officials allowed them to leave jail,” said the police official.
The incident, according to police, came to light on November 28, when the two were supposed to be present for a hearing in the murder case. The judge asked police why they had not produced them in court, and police informed the court that they had been released on bail as “directed” by the judge. Police and jail officials produced the documents and it was discovered that they were forged.
Pune Police asked the Crime Branch to investigate. Crime Branch traced the duo and arrested them. They were produced before the court and sent back to Yerawada Prison.
“We are probing lapses. We will try to find out if there were any similar cases in the past. We are probing if any jail department or district court staffer was involved in this serious crime,” said Sunil Pawar, Police Inspector, Crime Branch (Unit 3).
Once a bail order is passed, the guarantor, the lawyer or a relative of the arrested accused can receive the order from the court office and carry it to the jail. The bail order is “submitted” in a drop box at the jail office. The box is opened thrice a day and bail orders received are processed and – if found satisfactory – the accused are released.