A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court has rejected the plea filed by former corporator Mohan Shukla – an accused in Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar’s murder case – for preserving CCTV footages of the lobby of a five-star hotel in Mumbai, alleging that the central agency’s prosecutor had stayed at the hotel where bookings were made by the victim’s son.
Nimbalkar was shot dead at Navi Mumbai in 2006. Shukla had claimed that the Nimbalkar family had been influencing the trial, and it was only due to their pressure that one of the accused had turned approver. Shukla had also pleaded that the deposition of the approver be deferred till the time an appropriate inquiry is made into the CBI prosecutor’s stay at the five-star hotel.
In his plea, Shukla had claimed that on April 5, the prosecution examined the approver before the court and his evidence was recorded. Further examination of the approver was scheduled for the next day. After the court hearing, when he went to a five-star hotel to discuss the case with his lawyer, he was shocked to see the special public prosecutor in the hotel lobby with the victim’s son.
He alleged that the trial in the case was “being conducted by CBI through its public prosecutor solely on the instructions of the victim’s sons – Jai Prakash and (Shiv Sena Member of Parliament) Om Prakash – which is nothing short of a coup being played upon to falsely implicate all the accused. ”The court rejected his pleas after finding that it contained “vague” allegations.
“It is seen that though the application has been filed on affidavit, no material has been placed on record in support of the application. However, it appears that accused No 3 [Shukla] is trying to collect the evidence at the hands of this court,” the special court said in its order, rejecting Shukla’s plea.
The court, while rejecting his plea, observed that due to second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, his further examination-in-chief could not be recorded till today. The courts in Mumbai have now started functioning regularly and the prosecution is also ready to conduct the trial on a day-to-day basis. Further, the court said his prayer to die by suicide cannot be considered and is liable to be rejected.