Pune. A special court in Pune on Wednesday framed charges against five accused in the murder case of anti-superstition activist Dr. Narendra Dabholkar. Dabholkar, president of the Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti, was shot dead allegedly by members of a right-wing radical outfit in Pune on August 20, 2013. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is probing the case. Once the charges are framed, a criminal trial begins.
Additional Sessions Judge (Special Court Judge) SR Navandar on Wednesday asked the accused Virender Singh Tawde, Sachin Andure, Sharad Kalaskar, Sanjeev Punalekar and Vikram Bhave whether they accepted the charge, but none of them accepted the charge. Tawde, Kalaskar and Andure appeared in the court via video-conference from the jail and sought more time from the court saying they wanted to discuss the matter with their lawyers. However, the court rejected his request. The other two accused Punalekar and Bhave were present in the court at the time of hearing.
The court booked the accused Virender Singh Tawde, Sachin Andure, Sharad Kalaskar, Sanjeev Punalekar and Vikram Bhave under sections 302 (murder), 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy), 16 (committing an act in the same spirit) of the Indian Penal Code. ), relevant sections of the Arms Act and Section 16 of the Strictly Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA).
A case has also been registered against Punalekar under section 201 (deleting evidence or giving false information to protect offender) of the Indian Penal Code. CBI’s counsel and Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Suryavanshi later told that the charges have been framed and further proceedings in the matter will be taken up for hearing on September 30.
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