The Supreme Court today dismissed a plea filed by the daughter of slain Maharashtra rationalist Narendra Dabholkar challenging the bail granted by the Bombay High Court to an accused in the case.

Dabholkar, who fought against superstition, was shot dead by two motorcycle-borne assailants in Pune on August 20, 2013.

A bench of Justice M M Sundresh and Justice SVN Bhatti said the High Court has passed a reasoned order while granting bail to the accused in the matter.

"We find no reason to entertain this appeal. Dismissed," the bench said.

Senior Advocate Anand Grover, appearing for Mukta Dabholkar, submitted that this is a serious case where during forensic examination one of the witnesses said the accused was involved.

The Apex Court said the High Court has found that the statement given by the co-accused does not match and moreover the accused is out on bail since May 6, 2021.

Mukta had approached the Apex Court against May 6, 2021 order of the Bombay High Court which had granted bail to Vikram Bhave, an accused in the case of killing of Dabholkar.

The High Court had said the material placed by the CBI "does not appear to show reasonable grounds to conclude that the accusations levelled against Bhave can be said to be prima facie true."

Bhave was accused of helping two other accused - Sachin Andure and Sharad Kalaskar - who allegedly shot Dabholkar on August 20, 2013 in Pune, with a recce of the spot and escape route after the crime.

Bhave was arrested along with advocate Sanjeev Punalekar on May 25, 2019 by the CBI, on the basis of a statement given by Kalaskar. Punalekar was granted bail by the sessions court in Pune in June 2019. Bhave approached the High Court in 2021, after a sessions court in Pune rejected his bail plea.

It is the CBI's case that Punalekar had instructed Kalaskar to destroy the firearms used in the killing of Dabholkar.

According to the probe agency, Bhave (who used to work as Punalekar's assistant) had accompanied Kalaskar and Andure for a recce of the crime scene and showed them the escape route.

A special Pune court had in 2021 framed charges against the alleged mastermind of the crime, Virendra Sinh Tawde. It had charged Tawde and three others with murder and criminal conspiracy, and with terror related offences under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. Another accused Sanjeev Punalekar was charged with destruction of evidence.

With PTI Inputs