A court in Sindhudurg district of Maharashtra on Tuesday denied bail to BJP MLA Nitesh Rane in connection with an attempt to murder case, saying his application for relief was ”premature and not maintainable”. Additional sessions judge RB Rote also held that the custodial interrogation of Nitesh Rane, the son of Union minister Narayan Rane, was necessary as police probe into the matter was ”incomplete”.
After the sessions court ruling, the opposition party legislator moved the Bombay High Court through his advocate Satish Maneshinde for bail in the case. His lawyers will seek an urgent hearing of the plea in the HC.
Nitesh Rane, in his bail plea in the high court, claimed he has been implicated and that this was a classic case of political vendetta or rivalry at the behest of the ruling dispensation against the applicant (Nitesh) and his father.” The plea further alleged that people belonging to opposition parties in Maharashtra – ruled by an alliance consisting of the Shiv Sena, the NCP and the Congress – and holding public positions are being ”victimised” by the state government by way of registration of false criminal cases.
The attempt to murder case, in which the MLA is an accused, pertains to alleged attack on Shiv Sena activist Santosh Parab in Kankavli during campaigning for the Sindhudurg District Co-operative Bank elections in December last year.
Last week, while disposing of Nitesh Rane’s pre-arrest bail plea, the Supreme Court had asked the Maharashtra Police not to arrest him for 10 days.The apex court had directed the BJP lawmaker to surrender before the trial court in Sindhudurg, where the criminal case has been registered, and then seek regular bail in the matter.
Accordingly, the MLA from Kankavli in Sindhudurg district, surrendered before the sessions court and sought bail.Nitesh Rane’s advocate Maneshinde argued that the Supreme Court had permitted his client to surrender before the trial court and apply for regular bail.
The apex court granted interim protection from arrest to the applicant for 10 days from January 27 and his physical appearance before the sessions court amounts to surrender, he said.However, special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat argued that before making an application for bail under section 439 of the CrPC, the applicant should have been in custody.
As per the CrPC section 439, a high court or sessions court may grant bail to any person accused of an offence and is in custody. Making bail application while not in custody amounts to an anticipatory bail and the said remedy is not available to the applicant. Therefore, the bail application is not maintainable, Gharat argued.
The sessions court, while rejecting Nitesh Rane’s bail plea, termed it as ”premature”.”The applicant has filed this application for regular bail under relevant section CrPC without filing written application for making surrender before court. The application is premature and hence, the application is not maintainable,” the sessions judge observed.
The court further noted that considering the facts and circumstances of the case and incomplete investigation, the custodial interrogation of Nitesh Rane was necessary.It said if the applicant (MLA Rane) was granted bail, investigation in the case would be hampered.
In his plea in the HC, Nitesh Rane claimed the ruling dispensation in Maharashtra falsely implicated him in the case in view of the Sindhudurg District Co-operative Bank elections.The MLA further claimed he was being targeted by the lead party in the ruling alliance (Shiv Sena, a former BJP ally which heads the Maha Vikas Aghadi government) as it felt insulted and hurt by an alleged incident of mocking outside the state legislature complex in December last year.
A Shiv Sena MLA had alleged Nitesh Rane had made ’meow meow’ sounds looking in the direction of Maharashtra minister and Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray while he was going inside the Vidhan Bhavan building in Mumbai on December 23 during the winter session of the legislature.