Free Press Journal

No furlough for prime accused in Keenan-Reuben murder case


WHO Jitendra Rana, one of the named, sought permission recently

Mumbai : Bombay High Court recently turned down the plea of Jitendra Rana, one of the prime accused in the infamous Keenan-Reuben murder case, who sought a 14-day furlough leave.

The HC held that if released, he can be a serious threat to the victim girls and also to the prime witnesses in the case.

A Division Bench presided over by Justice Vijaya Tahilramani and Justice Sandeep Shinde, heard an application moved by convict Jitendra Rana,

who was awarded a sentence of life till death, by a special women’s court in May 2016.

Justice Tahilramani in her order said, “The brazen act of the petitioner (Rana) shows that he is the kind of person who is most likely to take revenge if he is released on furlough. Thus, we find that there is sufficient material to conclude that there would be danger to the life of the complainant girls and the prime witnesses, if he is released.”

Justice Tahilramani considered the fact that the prime witnesses, that are the Panwala and the security guard, work in the area that is very much near Rana’s residence. The Bench also noted Rana’s conduct from the manner in which he assaulted both Keenan and Reuben.

“The convict has a tendency of taking revenge which can be seen from the fact that when the deceased tried to question him regarding the teasing of their female friends, he along with other accused came back with deadly weapons and assaulted them, leading to their death,” Justice Tahilramani has said.

It was on 20 October, 2011 Keenan Santos (24) and Reuben Fernandez (29) the two youngsters along with some of their friends visited an eatery in Amboli near Andheri, Mumbai. On their return to home, Rana and other accused had passed lewd remarks at Keenan’s female friends.

The duo had protested and they were later attacked by more than a dozen men with weapons in full public view.

While Keenan died on the spot, his friend Reuben succumbed to the severe injuries after a week of the attack.

Apart from Rana, other accused Satish Dulgaj, Sunil Bhot and Deepak Tival are charged with mole- station and murder and are sentenced to life till death.