Supreme Court refuses to re-examine bail granted to accused in Dabholkar murder case

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File photo of Narendra Dabholkar
| Photo Credit: PTI

The Supreme Court on January 5 dismissed a challenge to bail granted by the Bombay High Court to an accused in the murder of rationalist Narendra Dabholkar in 2013.

A Bench headed by Justice M.M. Sundresh said the investigation in the case was completed, matter was at the trial stage and the accused was presumed innocent until proven guilty by the court.

Also read | 10 years and masterminds behind Narendra Dabholkar’s murder not arrested, says daughter

“At this stage, the accused is entitled to bail… It is a question of liberty. The onus is for the other side to prove that this is not a case for bail,” Justice Sundresh said.

Senior advocate Anand Grover appearing for petitioner Mukta Dabholkar, said the accused, Vikram Bhave, was charged under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Rather than the prosecution, the onus was on the accused to prove his case under Section 45D for bail.

Mr. Grover moreover said the trial was going on and there was no delay. The High Court cannot rely on factual discrepancies in the case to grant bail to Bhave in 2021.

“That would be a matter to be examined during the trial. There is a witness saying he [Bhave] is involved. There is a forensic recreation of events,” he argued.

Justice Sundresh however said the High Court had passed a reasoned order and there was no need to interfere.

Bhave was arrested in 2019 on the basis of a statement by accused Sharad Kalaskar, who allegedly shot Dabholkar.

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