Dabholkar case: CBI opposes lawyer  Sanjeev Punalekar’s bail plea

Pune: The CBI on Monday opposed the bail plea of lawyer Sanjeev Punalekar, arrested in the murder case of anti-superstition activist Narendra Dabholkar, claiming he would tamper with evidence if granted bail.

Punalekar's bail plea is being heard in the court of Additional Sessions Judge R M Pande. Special prosecutor for the CBI, Prakash Suryawanshi, disputed the defense's argument that Punalekar's advice to Sharad Kalaskar, one of the shooters arrested in the case, to destroy the firearm used in the murder was “legal communication” between a client and a lawyer.

“He (Punalekar) crossed all the limits by giving advice to Kalaskar to destroy the firearms (used in Dabholkar and Gauri Lankesh murders), thus it was not legal advice,” Suryawanshi argued.

Punalekar gave the advice as a sadhak (follower) of the Sanatan Sanstha and not as a lawyer, he added.

Defense counsel Subhash Jha told the court that even if it is assumed that Punalekar had advised Kalaskar to destroy the firearm, as claimed by the CBI, it was “legal advice” and “a professional communication”.

“Even if we accept their theory that Punalekar instructed Kalaskar to destroy the weapons, the present case against him does not go beyond IPC section 201. The section is bailable, so Punalekar is entitled to get bail,” Jha told court.

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