Palghar lynching case: 10 get bail from HC as there was no overt act; 8 others denied bail as seen in CCTV footage

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, April 01, 2022, 11:01 PM IST
article-image
Bombay HC | Photo: Representative Image

Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Friday granted bail to ten accused in the Palghar lynching case, in which two Hindu sadhus and their driver were killed in Maharashtra in April 2020, observing that there was ‘no overt act’ that could be attributed to the 10 accused.

The court, however, rejected the bail pleas of eight others as CCTV footage showed them assaulting the sadhus.

Justice Bharti Dangre granted bail to Raju Gurud, Vijay Pilena, Risha Pilena, Deepak Gurud, Sitaram Rathod, Vijay Gurud, Ratna Bhawar, Ishwar Nikole, Firoj Sathe and Mohan Gavit.

“Considering the role attributed to the present applicant, which is of his presence and being armed with a weapon, but since no overt act is attributed to him, nor is there any recovery from him, he deserves to be released on bail,” observed the court.

However, the bail pleas of Rajal Gurud, Mahesh Gurud, Lahanya Valakar, Sandesh Gurud, Havasa Sathe, Bhau Sathe, Ramdas Rao and Rajesh Rao were rejected.

Considering the material against each of the 18 accused, Justice Dangre noted that several of them were seen with weapons such as wooden sticks and logs, axes etc.

While rejecting the bail pleas of the eight accused, the court noted that they could be seen throwing stones at the police vehicle and hitting the deceased with the sticks and logs. Some of the eight accused were also seen calling more persons to join the mob and assault the three sadhus.

Advocate Vrushali Raje, appearing for most of the accused, argued that as far as the call data records (CDR) that the prosecution relies on were concerned, there was only one mobile tower in the vicinity of Gadchinchale and other adjoining areas and therefore, it was natural to get the same location for any person within a range of 40 kms.

As for the CCTV footage, Raje argued that it only mentioned that the accused were present but did not establish their participation in the assault of the three sadhus.

Opposing the bail applications, Special Public Prosecutor Satish Maneshinde argued that it was a serious case, as an unruly mob of over 400 to 500 villagers had overturned a vehicle in which the sadhus were trapped.

On April 16, 2020, a mob lynched two sadhus — Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrukshagiri, 70, and Sushilgiri Maharaj, 35, — and their driver Nilesh Telgade, 30, at Gadchinchale in Palghar district, 140kms north of Mumbai. The attack took place amid rumours that child-lifters were in the area during the lockdown.

A group of four policemen reached the spot after Kasa Police Station received phone calls.

Eighteen police officers were punished after a departmental inquiry was initiated in the matter. One assistant police inspector was dismissed while another assistant police sub-inspector and a driver were compulsorily retired.

A Thane sessions court had granted bail to 89 accused in the matter in January last year.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Geetanjali Shree's 'Tomb of Sand' is first Hindi novel to win International Booker Prize

Geetanjali Shree's 'Tomb of Sand' is first Hindi novel to win International Booker Prize

Few trains of Western Railway to be affected due to work of double line between Jagudna –...

Few trains of Western Railway to be affected due to work of double line between Jagudna –...

Mumbai: Prepaid black and yellow taxi stands at CSMT to restart after nearly 2.5 yrs

Mumbai: Prepaid black and yellow taxi stands at CSMT to restart after nearly 2.5 yrs

Mumbai: Cyber-fraud offers victim lucrative telecom plan, siphons Rs 2.25L from his bank account in...

Mumbai: Cyber-fraud offers victim lucrative telecom plan, siphons Rs 2.25L from his bank account in...

Mumbai: 7 members of family stuck in high tide at Aksa beach rescued by lifeguards

Mumbai: 7 members of family stuck in high tide at Aksa beach rescued by lifeguards