HC judge recuses himself; asks Nilesh Rane to approach other bench

The Bombay High court justice Prakash Naik recused himself meaning challenge (a judge or juror) as unqualified to perform legal duties because of a potential conflict of interest or lack of impartiality in Nilesh Ranes anticipatory bail application.

He asked the Rane family to approach another bench which is likely to happen only on Thursday till then, Rane can be arrested anytime as his ABA is already rejected by a lower court while this court has refused to grant him any protection.

Former Chief Minister of State Narayan Rane's son Nilesh who was also a former Member of Parliament of Indian National Congress party approached the Bombay High court on Tuesday after Khed sessions court in Konkan refused to extend his anticipatory bail.

Thane Police had booked Nilesh, his personal assistant Tushar Panchal and bodyguard Manish Singh, under relevant sections of the IPC — assault, wrongful restraint, kidnapping, and criminal intimidation — for kidnapping and assaulting party’s Chiplun taluka president Sandeep Sawant in April.

The accused abducted Sawant and assaulted him on their way to Mumbai for not attending a rally called by Nilesh demanding reservation for the Maratha community in Chiplun. When questioned about his absence, Sawant told Nilesh that he was looking after his ailing mother on the day of the rally.

Later, acting on Sawant’s complaint, the Chiplun police booked Nilesh and his accomplices, forcing the former ex-MP to seek anticipatory bail. Realising the seriousness of the issue, Rane senior tried to downplay it by stating that Sawant was never kidnapped. He even visited Sawant in hospital, hoping to pacify and coax him into retracting his complaint against Nilesh, but to no avail. Moreover, Sawant’s wife has been relentless in demanding Nilesh's arrest.

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