The Bombay High Court on Wednesday admitted an appeal filed by retired professor Yashwant Natu against deputy mayor Deepak Mankar and 18 others against their acquittal by a Pune court in an alleged land grab case in 2009. The appeal was admitted although the state law and judiciary department had in February rejected the prosecutions proposal to appeal against the acquittal.
Mankar and 18 others were acquitted by Pune district and sessions judge Anant Badar on October 21 last year as allegations of land grab could not be proved.
Additional public prosecutor Subhash Kalbhor said that as per standard procedure,he had submitted the proposal to appeal against Mankars acquittal in the Bombay HC to the law and judiciary department in December last year. The law and judiciary department,however,rejected the proposal, he said.
Natu,who had alleged that Mankar and the 18 others had grabbed his land in Shukrawar Peth,himself approached the HC through his lawyers S V Kotwal,Ashish Sawant and A R Kapadnis.
The HC division bench of justice P D Kode and justice V M Kanade not only admitted the appeal on Wednesday,but also expedited the hearing.
The appeal has been filed against Mankar, Sadhana Vartak of Karvenagar,former corporator Datta Sagre of Shukrawar peth,Sudhir Vasant Karnataki of Paud Road,Anand Salunkhe and Kailash Kamble of Narayan Peth,Keshav Kirpekar of Sadashiv Peth,Parshuram Naik,Shankar Jaypa Gouda and Swapnil alias Bhaiyya Kamble of Budhwar Peth,Sheru Lingavva Parnakar alias Kamble of Shukrawar Peth,Eknath Surve from Kothrud,Balwant Ramchandra Natu of Shukrawar Peth,Avinash Ramchandra Natu and Shrinivas Moreshwar Natu of Paud Road,Suhas Moreshwar Natu of Paud Road,Sudhir Ramchandra Dharmadikari of Kothrud,Lata Bhongle of Ganesh Peth,and Mayur Satpute of Narayan Peth.
Natus appeal states,among other points,that a delay in filing the FIR cannot by itself be a ground to view the case of the appellant with suspicion,and that he and the prosecution witnesses had repeatedly deposed that he had no intentions of selling his property.
As per the original complaint of Natu and his son Dhananjay Natu,Karnataki had purchased part of the disputed property,co-owned by Natu and his relatives in Shukrawar Peth. However,Natu did not sell his share of the property to Karnataki. Natu alleged that Karnataki,Mankar and Sagre threatened him and forcibly took his signatures on documents paying Rs 1.25 crore for the property.