The Vasai sessions court Wednesday turned down a plea by Prabhat Sharma,Head of Corporate Affairs of Tata Steel,Jamshedpur,seeking exemption from appearing before it in connection with the suicide case of Charudatta Deshpande,former chief of Corporate Communications at Tata Steel. Sharma has been charged with abetment to suicide.
Vasai police officers submitted an application before the court,saying they needed Sharmas custody. Sharmas lawyer Abad Ponda,however,argued that he was ready to co-operate with police investigations and his presence before the court was not necessary.
Ponda asked for anticipatory bail to be granted to Sharma,arguing before judge R N Joshi that the investigating officer could call Sharma for enquries as the section applied against him was not of a heinous crime like murder,rape or dacoity. Ponda contended that the investigating officer wanted Sharmas presence in court only to arrest him. The court,however,said Sharmas presence before the court was essential on the final hearing of his anticipatory bail on December 21.
According to police,a team was sent to the Tata Steel head office in Jamshedpur where Sharma is posted,but his statement could not be recorded as he was on long leave. We have recorded the statements of Deshpandes other colleagues and collected other evidence, said Prashant Deshpande,Deputy Superintendent of Police (Vasai).