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Court Turns Down CBI Plea for Further Custody of Accused Lawyer & Aide in Narendra Dabholkar Murder Case

Dabholkar, an anti-superstition activist, was shot dead in broad daylight on August 20, 2013. (Picture courtesy: Twitter)

Dabholkar, an anti-superstition activist, was shot dead in broad daylight on August 20, 2013. (Picture courtesy: Twitter)

Sanjeev Punalekar, who had represented some of the accused in the case, and his assistant Vikram Bhave were arrested on May 25 by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Pune: A court here on Tuesday turned down a CBI request seeking further custody of advocate Sanjeev Punalekar and his assistant Vikram Bhave, arrested in the Narendra Dabholkar murder case, and sent them to judicial custody for 14 days.

Punalekar, who had represented some of the accused in the Dabholkar case of 2013, and Bhave were arrested on May 25 by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the same case.

Seeking further custody, Special Public Prosecutor Prakash Suryawanshi said the CBI has recovered some crucial data, including names and contact numbers, from Punalekar's laptop and mobile phone, and it wanted to interrogate him further based on these leads.

'Forensic Psychology Assessment' and 'Forensic Statement Assessment' tests of Punalekar indicated that he was deceptive, the prosecutor claimed.

Punalekar and Bhave were in CBI's custody for 11 days.

Additional Sessions Judge RM Pande rejected the probe agency's request for further remand, and sent the two accused to judicial custody.

Dabholkar, a well-known anti-superstition activist, was shot dead in Pune on August 20, 2013.

According to the CBI, which has arrested some persons connected to the right-wing organisation Sanatan Sanstha in the case, Punalekar had advised one of the alleged shooters to destroy the weapons.

Some of the accused in this case were also linked to the 2015 murder of communist leader Govind Pansare and the 2017 murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh, investigating agencies have claimed.

first published:June 04, 2019, 19:06 IST