A chargesheet filed by the Crime Branch of Pune Police against Deepak Raut, a senior clerk at the Pune District and Sessions Court and three others in a bail order forgery case says that Raut forged the bail order owing to monetary compulsions. The forged bail order allowed two murder accused to walk out of jail.
Raut, 51, of Kasba Peth, Tanaji Nimhan, PMC ex-corporator and his sons Tushar (34) and Chetan (28) are accused of allegedly murdering Pratik Nimhan.
The charge-sheet running into 500 pages filed in court of Judicial Magistrate (First Class) S S Patil a couple of days ago names 59 witnesses. A separate charge-sheet against Raut is expected in another case of alleged bail bond forgery involving another murder accused Praveen Vishnu Bhilare (29) of Bhilarwadi, which came to light during investigations.
A confessional statement reportedly given by Raut, which forms part of the charge-sheet, reads, “I had taken Rs 7 lakh loan from four friends and had no money to repay it. Tanhaji Nimhan whose sons Tushar and Chetan were behind bars was trying to get a bail order from court. Earlier, Judge V K Shewale had rejected bail application twice and Nimhan was getting impatient. He had told me several times that he was ready to spend any amount of money for his son’s bail. Since I needed money, I decided to forge the bail order,”
The charge-sheet states that Raut used his cordial relations with the staff working with Nazir Office (in charge of ex-corporator) to illegally gain access to the computer of the stenographer.
“I had taken Rs 6 lakh from (Tanaji) Nimhan after promising to get bail orders. Between November 17 and November 22, Judge (J T) Utpat had gone on leave. On November 22, I went to court early and took the keys of the courtroom and cupboard from the Nazir’s office. I gained access to the computer and used old bail orders to forge orders for Tushar and Chetan. Later, I used the seal and kept the orders ready in an envelope picked up by Tanaji Nimhan who dropped them in the bail box at Yerawada Prison. The next day I collected Rs 3 lakh from Nimhans,” he says in the statement.
As per his statement, Raut used part of the money to repay his loan and splurged the rest on girls at dance bars in Panvel, Navi Mumbai, Kalyan and Thane.
The statement of the Court Nazir said that one of his staffers had seen Raut taking courtroom keys from the box at 8.30 in the morning without making any entry in the register.
The forgery came to light when Tushar and Chetan were to be produced in a sessions court in connection with the murder trial. The court issued summons to jail authorities to produce the duo. The jail authorities then realized that the duo was out on bail. An inquiry was initiated and Tushar and Chetan re-arrested from their house on Pashan-Baner link road.
Advocate Milind Pawar is the defence lawyer in the case. Assistant Public Prosecutor Waman Koli will argue from the government’s side. Advocate B A Aloor, who represented Raut for a while, said the police had produced ample evidence and a long list of witnesses making a strong case against Raut.