The Bombay High Court has granted bail to an advocate who is accused of murdering another advocate and stealing his gold ornaments.
A division bench of Justices Ajay Gadkari and Milind Jadhav granted bail to Suresh Chavan against a personal bond of Rs. 50,000 while observing that confession made by a co-accused, in this case a man known as Sanjay Kharatmal, “though inculpatory, is not admissible in the eyes of law”. The bench also considered that the prosecution was only relying on the theory of “last seen together” to make its case.
The HC was hearing an appeal filed by Chavan challenging the order of the sessions court at Solapur rejecting his bail on October 9, 2019.
On June 8, 2019, Kharatmal invited Rajesh Kamble home and allegedly spiked the advocate’s tea. He and Chavan then allegedly murdered Kamble and dismembered his body. After stealing his ornaments, they stuffed the body parts in gunny sacks and fled.
After his arrest, Kharatmal confessed that he and Chavan had spiked Kamble’s drink and murdered him, and took the police home.
One of Kharatmal’s neighbour said he saw the three together on the date of the incident.
Another witness said he saw Kharatmal and Chavan pass by on a Honda motorcycle. He claimed that they seemed to be in a “frightened condition”.
The court noted that prima facie, this was the “only legally admissible piece of evidence against the appellant [Chavan]”.
“The prosecution has pressed into service the theory of ‘last seen together’ in the company of deceased...” the court said. The recovery of items listed in the panchnama at Kharatmal’s behest “prima facie indicates that he exonerated the appellant [Chavan] from the commission of present crime”.
“We are mindful of the fact that the confession made by the said co-accused [Kharatmal] in the said panchnama, though inculpatory, is not admissible in the eyes of the law,” it said.
The prosecution opposed Chavan’s bail stating that he had theft cases registered against him.