HC rejects Gorhe, Narvekar appeal
The Bombay High Court (HC) yesterday rejected an appeal filed by Shiv Sena MLC Neelam Gorhe and Sena executive president Udhhav Thackeray's personal secretary Milind Narvekar against collection of their voice samples by Pune city police.
Gorhe and Narvekar had appealed against a Pune court order dated January 7 directing the police to collect their voice samples in a case where the duo have been charged by the Bund Garden police for allegedly engineering riots in the city during a bandh call to protest the shifting of Dadoji Konddeo’s statue from Lal Mahal in December 2010.
“The HC has rejected the appeal, but continued the stay on collecting their samples for six weeks from the day the order is uploaded on the court’s website, for the duo to approach the Supreme Court,” said advocate Manoj Mohite, counsel for Gorhe and Narvekar in HC.
The appeal was rejected stating that the voice samples were vital evidence and that the police had the right to collect it. Senior PI (crime branch) Suhas Nadgouda, who is investigating the case, said, “The HC has instructed us not to issue summons to the duo to give their voice samples before the appeal period is over. Therefore, we will issue summons after expiry of the appeal period.”
On January 7 this year, Additional Sessions Judge V G Joshi dismissed a petition by Gorhe and Narvekar, opposing the collection of their voice samples by the police. Narvekar and Gorhe were booked on the basis of mobile phone conversations intercepted by the police on December 27, 2010.
According to the tapped conversations, Narvekar had allegedly given instructions to Gorhe to cause violence by stonepelting, burning buses and rioting while simultaneously informing TV crews to cover it during the Pune bandh on December 28. As per the FIR filed at the Bund Garden police station, during the conversation, Narvekar said to Gorhe, “On December 28, at 6 am, 200 to 300 people should take to the streets in Pune.
Early in the morning, at least five ST buses at Pune station, Swargate and Shivajinagar ST stands should be set ablaze. It must be done all of a sudden. Manage the TV crew and get the shots, so that it can reach the people. At 6 am, torch two trucks on the Mumbai-Pune highway so that the traffic coming towards Pune is automatically stopped. Also, torch two ST buses there.”
Protesters had targeted PMPML buses, setting one bus ablaze and damaging over 55. Losses were estimated at over Rs 5 lakh. On February 26 last year, Judicial Magistrate (First Class) R L Wankhade permitted the police to collect the duo’s voice samples.