February 3, 2021 12:01:33 am
A Special Court in Pune on Tuesday acquitted 22 people, including gangster Gajanan Marne and his aides, in a 2014 murder case.
Amol Hari Badhe (26), who was an active member of Marne’s rival, Nilesh Ghaywal’s gang, was gunned down near Vaikunth Crematorium on November 29, 2014. Two others, Santosh Kamble and Lakhan Lokhande, who were with Badhe at the time were injured in the attack. More than three weeks earlier, Santosh Gawade, another close aide of Nilesh Ghaywal, was gunned down in Lavale near Pune.
In both cases, the police had booked Gajanan Marne (49) and his aides. The murder of Amol Badhe was investigated by Vishrambag police station and at least 22 accused were prosecuted and booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). The Special MCOCA court presided over by Judge AY Thatte pronounced the judgment on Tuesday.
Advocate Vijaysinh Thombare, one of the lawyers who represented the accused, said, “The court has acquitted 22 persons in the case for lack of evidence. None of the independent witnesses in the case corroborated the prosecution’s case.” Other lawyers who represented the accused persons are Advocates Sudhir Shah, Vipul Dushing and Siddharth Patil.
While Gajanan Marne is currently lodged in Taloja Jail in Navi Mumbai, the other accused in the case are in Yerawada Central Jail. The trial in Santosh Gawade’s murder case is slated to start soon. Nilesh Ghaywal, who is facing trial in several other cases, is out on bail and has been externed by Pune police from the city’s limits since November for at least two years.
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