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No Relief of Further Enquiry Due to Lack of Evidence: Bombay High Court

The allegation made in the writ petition is vague and ambiguous as to the lapses in the investigation. If the petitioner had pointed out something relevant to the case which can be investigated instead of pinpointing some old enmity between the deceased and respondent. This honourable judgement was passed by In the High Court of Judicature at Bombay Bench at Aurangabad in the case of Rajendra @ Raju s/o. Laxman Chandane vs the State of Maharashtra and Others [Criminal Writ Petition NO. 77 OF 2020] by the Hon’ble Ravindra v. Ghuge and B. U. Debadwar.

Some boys belonging to Matang community went swimming near the mother of accused Sumit shastri, being annoyed by the kids they ridiculed, insulted after beating them mercilessly. Deceased Vinod Chandane took cognizance of that incident and made publicity of the same up to the national level. Taking cognizance of that incident, brought to light by deceased Vinod Chandane, crime was registered and after trial, Ishwar Joshi, cousin brother of Sumit Shastri was arrested and prosecuted. On 19-03-2019 itself, Vijay Laxman Chandane, younger brother of Vinod Chandane, lodged a report to Pahur police station about the missing of his elder brother Vinod Chandane. After lodging the missing report, Rajendra Chandane lodged FIR at Pahur Police Station inter alia narrating many instances leading to suspicion against Chandrashekhar Wani and others. On the basis of the said report, for the offences punishable under Sections 363, 364, 120- B, 341 of I.P.C. and Section 3(2)(v) of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 came to be registered against original accused Nos. 1 to 4 viz. Chandrashekhar Wani, Mahendra Rajput, Namdar Tadvi and Vinod Deshmukh, at Pahur Police Station. Following this, his dead body was found.

The court was of the view that “In the absence of prima facie evidence, only on the basis of allegations made in the missing report and the FIR that deceased Vinod Chandane was exposing Chandrashekhar Wani by way of making various complaints to various authorities alleging that he had misappropriated funds allocated to the Gram Panchayat for disbursement of the same to needy persons under various Government schemes, inference cannot be drawn that respondent Nos. 6 to 8 were also party to the conspiracy hatched for the commission of murder of Vinod Chandane. But It is pertinent to note that I.O. gets every right to file a supplementary charge sheet against respondent Nos. 6 to 8, if some evidence establishing their involvement in the crime is found then they can very well be directed to face the trial, by invoking 15 of 16 powers under Section 319 of Cr.P.C.”

The court dismissed the petition stating that “In the absence of prima facie evidence, only on the basis of allegations made in the missing report and the FIR that deceased Vinod Chandane was exposing Chandrashekhar Wani by way of making various complaints to various authorities alleging that he had misappropriated funds allocated to the Gram Panchayat for disbursement of the same to needy persons under various Government schemes, inference cannot be drawn that respondent Nos. 6 to 8 were also party to the conspiracy hatched for the commission of murder of Vinod Chandane.”

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