HC grants bail to accused in 2011 Kurar quadruple murder case | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC grants bail to accused in 2011 Kurar quadruple murder case

Apr 02, 2022 05:54 PM IST

The incident came to light on June 6, 2011, when partially burnt bodies of the victims were found in deserted hills in Appa Pada area near Kurar village.

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has granted bail to Hemant Gupta, one of the accused in the Kurar quadruple murder case of June 2011, primarily because of the delay in concluding the trial and the fact that he had already spent over 10 years behind bars.

A single-judge bench of justice Anuja Prabhudessai noted that the role attributed to Gupta was limited to abducting Ganesh Karanj. (HR FILE PHOTO)
A single-judge bench of justice Anuja Prabhudessai noted that the role attributed to Gupta was limited to abducting Ganesh Karanj. (HR FILE PHOTO)

The incident came to light on June 6, 2011, when partially burnt bodies of the victims – Chetan Dhule (24), Ganesh Karanje (24), Bharat Kudle (27) and Dinesh Ahire (26) -- were found in deserted hills in Appa Pada area near Kurar village.

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According to the police, they were kidnapped by local goon Uday Pathak’s gang members, taken to the deserted hilly area and killed. Their bodies were burnt in an attempt to destroy evidence, police said, adding that the incident took place a day after the victims assaulted Pathak in Kurar village.

A single-judge bench of justice Anuja Prabhudessai noted that the role attributed to Gupta was limited to abducting Ganesh Karanj. The judge said evidence of approver Vaibhav Chavan revealed that Gupta and other accused -- Manoj Gujar, Amit Soni and Babu Chintale -- had on Pathak’s instructions abducted and brought all the four victims near a temple.

Chavan further revealed that when Pathak reached the spot, he told the other accused to take the victims to Appa Pada forest, saying they will remove their clothes and leave them naked in the jungle, but on reaching the deserted forest area Pathak decided to kill all of them and accordingly all of them were killed and their naked bodies were burnt.

“There is no material on record to prima facie indicate that he (Gupta) was involved in committing murder or that he had knowledge that the four captives were abducted for causing their death,” said the court. “Prima facie he was not a party to a criminal conspiracy to cause the death of these captives.”

The court also took into consideration the fact that in August 2017, the trial court was directed to expedite the trial. Two months later, the high court had directed the trial court to try to complete the trial in ten months. However, during the course of the hearing on Gupta’s bail plea, when the high court again sought a report, the trial court has sought one more year, saying 24 witnesses have been examined and 17/18 witnesses are yet to be examined.

“Considering the role attributed to the applicant and also because he is in custody for over 10 years and the trial is not likely to conclude for another one year, in my considered view this would be a fit case to release the applicant on bail,” said the court, ordering Gupta to be released on bail on furnishing a personal bond of 1 lakh.

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