Pune: Verdict on Dr Dabholkar’s Murder Case Expected on May 10

Pune: Verdict on Dr Dabholkar's Murder Case Expected on May 10

Pune: Verdict on Dr Dabholkar's Murder Case Expected on May 10

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After nearly a decade of legal proceedings, the final hearing and announcement of the verdict in the murder case of prominent activist Dr Narendra Dabholkar is set to take place on 10th May 2024.

19 April 2024

By Ishika Kumar

Dr. Dabholkar, a passionate advocate against superstition and irrational beliefs, was tragically gunned down during his morning walk on 20th August 2013, on the Maharshi Vitthal Ramji Shinde bridge in Pune. The heinous act shook the nation and sparked widespread outrage. The investigation initially undertaken by the Pune Police was later transferred to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in June 2014, following a directive from the Bombay High Court. The CBI’s involvement led to the arrest of and subsequent charges against five individuals allegedly involved in the assassination.

The accused include Virendrasinh Tawde, an ENT surgeon supposedly linked to the Sanatan Sanstha, and Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar, who are identified by the CBI as the shooters. Additionally, advocate Sanjiv Punalekar and his assistant Vikram Bhave were also charged as being complicit in the crime.

The course of this trial has spanned over eight years and has witnessed various legal developments and procedural changes. From the framing of charges against the accused to the examination of witnesses, the judicial process has been prolonged and complex. Notably, recent proceedings saw the special court, under the jurisdiction of Judge P.P. Jadhav, reserve its verdict after hearing extensive arguments from both the prosecution and the defence. 

Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Suryawanshi confirmed that the judgement is scheduled to be delivered on 10th May, marking a significant milestone in the quest for justice for Dr. Dabholkar.

The trial has had its challenges. It has undergone shifts in judges and legal representation, adding layers of complexity to the case. Despite this, the prosecution has diligently pursued the matter, duly presenting the case before the court and invoking relevant legal provisions, including sections of the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA). Although Tawde, Andure and Kalaskar are in custody, Punalekar and Bhave have been granted bail.

As the date for the verdict draws near, anticipation lingers among the public, who have been awaiting closure and accountability in the wake of Dr. Dabholkar’s untimely demise. The trial outcome is set to resound beyond the confines of the courtroom, serving as a testament to the long and often-termed tiresome pursuit of justice, and the resilience of those who continue to champion the cause to which Dr. Dabholkar dedicated his entire life.