In yet another setback to BJP MLA Nitesh Rane, the son of Union MSME Minister Narayan Rane, a court in Maharashtra’s Sindhudurg on Tuesday rejected his bail plea in an attempt to murder case.
Terming Rane’s application “premature”, that bail would hamper incomplete investigations, and his custodial interrogation is necessitated considering the case facts and circumstances, Additional Sessions Judge R.B. Rote said that Rane is facing 11 criminal cases including offence against public servants and 2 other accused in the case are still absconding.
His order came after the Supreme Court last week directed Maharashtra Police not to arrest Rane for 10 days in the case and asked him to surrender before the trial court in Sindhudurg to seek regular bail in the matter.
On January 17, the Bombay High Court declined to grant anticipatory bail to the two-time legislator Rane on various grounds, after which he had moved the apex court.
Arguing for pre-arrest bail, Rane’s lawyers Satish Maneshinde and S.D. Desai said that the weapon was a paper-cutter and the injuries were not serious, the case was politically motivated and a story was concocted, while the statement of an other accused was taken forcibly, Rane was ready to cooperate with the investigations and he had recorded his statement on December 24.
Opposing Rane’s plea, Special Public Prosecutor Pradeep Gharat said no notice was served to the prosecution before filing the bail application under Section 438 of the CrPC, Rane’s anticipatory bail applications had been already rejected earlier, and his custody was required for a just and proper investigation.
He also contended that the SC had allowed Rane to surrender before the trial court and then apply for regular bail, and the 10 days interim protection was breathing time to prepare him for giving himself up.
Observing that Rane was not “falsely implicated due to political reasons”, Judge Rote said he is the “main accused” and his prima facie involvement has been shown, a conspiracy was hatched to teach the victim a lesson, and hence, his custodial interrogation was necessary for proper and effective investigation.
Rane is charged for the alleged December 18, 2021, attack on Shiv Sena activist Santosh M. Parab while campaigning for the Sindhudurg District Cooperative Bank polls on December 31, though the BJP leader has consistently denied any involvement.
According to Parab’s police complaint, when he was returning home that evening, his motorcyle was hit by a SUV without number plates, one person stepped out, and assaulted him with a paperknife.
Later, the assailant said that Gotya Sawant and Nitesh Rane should be informed of this incident, called up someone, and sped off in the SUV.
Police subsequently arrested six accused – Chetan Pawar, Karan B. Kamble, Anil Nakka, Karan D. Kamble, Deepak N. Waghode and Sachin Satpute – all from Pune, while two other accused Dnyaneshwar D. Devnur and Dheeraj Jadhav are still absconding.
As per the probe, Karan B. Kamble revealed the weapons used in the offence which were recovered and the attack was commissioned by Devnur and Jadhav for Rs 150,000 of which they were paid Rs 20,000.
The probe revealed that Satpute and Rane had allegedly hatched the conspiracy on August 28 last year with the latter wanting to teach Parab a lesson for targeting the Rane family.
Meanwhile, Maneshinde told media persons this evening that nobody can touch Rane till he enjoys the court’s protection and he would soon move the Bombay High Court challenging the Sindhudurg court order.
(Quaid Najmi can be contacted at email@example.com)