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Dabholkar murder trial: Prosecution submits panchnamas, forensic reports and other documents

On September 15, a special court in Pune had framed charges against the five chargesteeted accused linked to the radical outfit Sanatan Sanstha, marking the beginning of the trial in Dabholkar murder case. All the five accused had pleaded not guilty to charges against them.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
Updated: October 1, 2021 10:15:09 am
Dr. Narendra Dabholkar, founder president of Maharashtra Andhashrddha Nirmoolan Samiti, during an interaction at Express Office in 2011. (Express File Photo by Sandeep Daundkar)

The prosecution in the murder case of Dr Narendra Dabholkar on Thursday submitted before the court 13 documents, which it will be relying on along with witnesses and evidences, during the trial. The documents include some panchnama reports and forensic examination findings, among others.

On September 15, a special court in Pune had framed charges against the five chargesteeted accused linked to the radical outfit Sanatan Sanstha, marking the beginning of the trial in Dabholkar murder case. All the five accused had pleaded not guilty to charges against them.

On Thursday, the special public prosecutor in the case, advocate Prakash Suryavanshi, submitted the 13 documents to the court, as part of the procedure under Section 294 of the Code of Criminal Procedure.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Suryavanshi said, “I have submitted these documents, along with a separate list of these documents. Now, the accused will be called upon to admit or deny the genuineness of these documents, after which the documents will be listed as exhibits, as the case may be. Following this, I will be submitting a list of prosecution witnesses.”

The documents submitted by the prosecution include the spot panchnama of the crime scene, the inquest panchnama, the medical notification of death of Dr Dabholkar, some reports denoting the findings of the Directorate of Forensic
Laboratories and some documents seized by the CBI after it took over the investigation.

Section 294 of CrPC, which pertains to ‘no formal proof of certain documents’, states, ‘where any document is filed before any court by the prosecution or the accused, the particulars of every such document shall be included in a list and the prosecution or the accused, as the case may be, or the pleader for the prosecution or the accused, if any, shall be called upon to admit or deny the genuineness of each such document.’

During the last hearing on September 15, the special court of Additional Sessions Judge S R Navandar had framed charges against four of the accused — Dr Virendrasingh Tawade, Sachin Andure Sharad Kalaskar and Vikram Bhave — for murder, conspiracy to commit murder along with Section 16 of the UAPA, pertaining to terrorist act and various provisions of the Arms Act for the use of firearms. The court had charged advocate Sanjeev Punalekar for destruction of evidence in the case.

For Thursday’s hearing, Prakash Salsingikar was present as defence counsel. Tawade and Andure, lodged at Yerawada Central Jail, and Kalaskar, lodged at Arthur Road Jail, attended via video-conferencing. Bhave was present in the court. The court has directed the Arthur Road prison to execute its order to transfer Kalaskar to Yerawada for the trial.

Dr Dabholkar, a rationalist and founder of anti-superstition organisation Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti, was shot dead by two assailants while he was on a morning walk on the VR Shinde Bridge in Pune on August 20, 2013. He was 67.

The Central Bureau of Investigation, which took over the case from Pune City police in 2014, has till now chargesheeted five accused in the case.

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