Mumbai: In a setback for CBI, three more
prosecution witnesses have turned hostile in the 2006
Pawanraje Nimbalkar murder case, in which Member of Parliament
Padamsinh Patil is the main accused.
A total of 12 witnesses have turned hostile so far at the
ongoing trial before Alibag sessions court in neighbouring
The three witnesses who turned hostile last week included
two eyewitnesses who had seen the assailants open fire at
Nimbalkar`s car at Kalamboli in Navi Mumbai, killing the
Congress leader and his driver.
The murder took place on June 3, 2006. According to the
prosecution, three assailants travelling in an Indica
overtook Nimbalkar`s car and forced him to halt.
Then they opened fire. But the two eyewitnesses, who were
on the crime spot, told the sessions court last week that they
had not seen any Indica that day.
The third witness who turned hostile was the person who
had allegedly obtained SIM card for Mohan Shukla, an accused.
The SIM card was used to make calls to other accused and
hatch the conspiracy and execute the murder.
Earlier this month, Nimbalkar`s widow, Anandibai, had
approached the Bombay High Court seeking that trial be
transferred from Alibag to a court in Mumbai, alleging that
Padamsinh was influencing and threatening the witnesses.
Anandibai had filed the application in the petition filed
by CBI in the High Court, seeking cancellation of bail to
Justifying demand for bail cancellation, CBI had also
filed an affidavit in the High Court alleging that Padamsinh
was using his influence to put pressure on the witnesses.
"The witnesses have gone back on their earlier statements
to the CBI because of the pressure tactics adopted by the
respondent (Patil), who is a sitting MP from Osmanabad
constituency and is highly influential," CBI said.
Patil, then with NCP, was arrested in June 2009 and was
granted bail by Alibag court in September the same year. The
CBI has now approached the High Court, challenging the lower
The trial started in July last year and the prosecution
has examined 20 witnesses so far. Next date of hearing is
According to the CBI, Patil hatched the conspiracy to
kill Nimbalkar due to political rivalry.
Other accused in the case include Latur-based businessman
Satish Mandade, corporator Mohan Shukla, Parasmal Jain, former
state excise inspector Shashikant Kulkarni, Bahujan Samaj
Party worker Kailash Yadav and alleged shooters Dinesh Tiwari,
Pintu Singh and Chote Pandey.