The Bombay High Court today rejected the bail plea of Samir Gaikwad, held in connection with the murder of veteran communist leader and rationalist Govind Pansare, saying there was prima facie ample evidence to link him with the crime.
The bail plea of Gaikwad, a member of right wing group "Sanathan Sanstha", was rejected by Justice C V Bhadang, who said there was direct evidence of an eye witness and corroborative circumstantial evidence to show alleged involvement of the accused in Pansare's murder.
The high court referred to a purported telephonic conversation Gaikwad had with a woman in which he had confessed to have killed Pansare. The prosecution cited this to suggest involvement of Gaikwad in the crime.
The Judge said that Gaikwad had no personal enmity with Pansare but certainly had ideological differences with the rationalist and that explains why he was killed.
The material collected by police and produced before the court clearly shows that it was a pre-planned conspiracy to kill the communist leader, said the Judge in his order while rejecting Gaikwad's bail plea.
Gaikwad sought bail saying there was no evidence to nail him in the crime. He sought bail on the ground that his liberty was being encroached upon in the absence of evidence.
However, special public prosecutor Harshad Nimbalkar opposed Gaikwad's bail plea, saying there was evidence to link him with the murder and that he would marshal evidence before the trial court.
The prosecution further said that if Gaikwad was released on bail, he is likely to abscond and impede trial.
A sessions court in Kolhapur has twice earlier rejected Gaikwad's bail plea.
Being aggrieved, he moved the High Court with a fresh bail plea.
Gaikwad is the only suspect arrested by Kolhapur police in connection with this case. He was arrested on September 16 last year from his residence in Sangli in Western Maharashtra.
Pansare and his wife were shot by unidentified persons in Kolhapur during their morning walk on February 16 last year. While his wife survived, the CPI leader died at a Mumbai hospital four days later.