HC admits Pravin's appeal against conviction

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Mumbai, Feb 1 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today admitted appeal of Pravin Mahajan against his conviction by a sessions court, and sentencing him to life imprisonment for murdering his elder brother senior BJP leader Pramod Mahajan.

A division bench comprising Justice S B Mhase and V K Tahilramani admitted the appeal, which will come up for final hearing in regular course as no request for expeditious hearing was made on behalf of Pravin.

Pravin has claimed, in his appeal, that under no circumstances the case could be treated of murder.

Claiming it was accidental firing which has caused death of his elder brother, Pravin said he had gone to the residence of the late leader to ensure that late Vivek Moitra, then personal secretary to the slain BJP leader, did not work with him as ''he had brought shame and harassment to the family.'' According to Pravin, after his elder brother made certain statements about his wife, he got up to leave the place. Thereafter, when he took up his pistol - kept on a nearby teapoy - anticipating reaction on his part, Pramod caught hold of his hand and there was scuffle between them at that juncture during which bullets were accidently fired upon the latter.

In the appeal, Pravin has also questioned credibilitiy of Pramod's widow Rekha Mahajan and BJP leader Gopinath Munde, alleging that they invented theory of demand of Rs one crore and also of motive behind the alleged murder. Though none of them had mentioned many things in statements given to police, during their deposition in trial court there was a lot of development in their statements, the appeal says.

While questioning conduct of lower court, Pravin has stated in the appeal that, normally burden of proving the case lies on prosecution and then the trial court was required to see whether explanation given by the accused was probable or not. Instead of going by this normal route, the trial court first analysed evidence put out by the defence threadbare and tried to find out loopholes in their story, it added.

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