Suspended Nationalist Congress Party leader and Lok Sabha member Padamsinh Patil was on Friday granted bail by a court in Mumbai in the sensational murder of Congress leader Pawanraje Nimbalkar in 2006 nearly four months after he was arrested.
Additional Session Judge Arvind Kale, while giving the conditional bail to Patil, said his custody was no longer required, but asked the accused to furnish a bail bond of Rs 2
lakh. He was arrested on June 6 this year.
Observing that Patil's custody was not required anymore, as the Criminal Bureau of Investigation had filed its chargesheet in the case, the court, however, directed him not to leave the country without taking its permission.
The court order came barely three weeks ahead of the October 13 assembly elections in which Patil's son Rana Jagjitsinh is a candidate from Osmanabad district.
NCP declined to give an immediate comment. Party state spokesperson Madan Bafna said, "We will comment only after the final order of the court."
The CBI, in its 5,000-page chargesheet, has named Patil as the prime accused who hatched the conspiracy to murder Nimbalkar due to political and business rivalry.
CBI counsel Ejaz Khan had opposed the bail arguing that confessional statement is the strongest evidence for proving conspiracy. "Apart from the confessional statement, the CBI has other evidence to prove Patil's involvement in the case," Khan said.
Nimbalkar and his driver were shot dead on June 3, 2006, at Kalamboli in neighbouring Navi Mumbai.
Image: Padamsinh Patil