Thane/Palghar (Maharashtra), Nov 26 (IANS) Thane Special Sessions Judge P. P. Jadhav on Thursday granted bail of Rs 15,000 each to 54 accused in the sensational Palghar lynching case of two Sadhus and their driver.
According to the defence lawyer Amrut Adhikari, among those who got bail include 8 who were arrested by the local police hours after the crime was reported on April 16.
Of the 54 allowed bail, 46 were arrested subsequently by the CID during the investigations in the case which sparked off a nationwide furore.
Adhikari and lawyer Atul Patil, representing the accused farmers or tribals, argued in the Thane Court that their clients were not involved in the lynching incident and had been arrested merely on grounds of suspicion.
The CID has filed three separate chargesheets in the case and so far, arrested a total of 238 accused including 11 minors.
Of these, 77 adult accused including nine minors have been granted bail, while another 135 accused are reported to be absconding.
Special Public Prosecutor Satish Maneshinde represented the CID while advocate P. N. Ojha appeared on behalf of the families of the deceased Sadhus.
The Palghar Police and CID arrested a total of 229 of which there was no chargesheet against 28 accused, according to Adhikari.
Of the 201 remaining, till date 86 accused, including the minors, have been granted bail, said the lawyer.
Adhikari added that the bail pleas of the other accused are expected to come up for hearing on December 5 before the Thane Court.
It was on the late night of April 16 that a huge mob of people waylaid and brutally lynched the Sadhus – Chikne Maharaj Kalpavrihshagiri (70), Sushilgiri Maharaj (35), and their driver Nilesh Telgade (30) – outside the Gadchinchale village, around 135 kms north of Mumbai.
A majority of the accused hail from the Gadchinchale village, besides neighbouring villages bordering with the Union Territory of Dadra & Nagar Haveli, barely half a km from the scene of the crime.