Pune police have arrested a lawyer for allegedly extorting Rs 50 lakh from a builder for taking back several court cases in connection with a slum rehabilitation project in Aundh, which the lawyer had reportedly made slum-dwellers to file.
As per information by Chatushrungi police, builder Vishal Chandrakant Kele (36) approached them after he made an audio clip of a conversation he had with lawyer Prasad Kulkarni.
Kulkarni’s father-in-law, who is a medical practitioner based in Kuthrud, has also been booked in the case, based on Kele’s complaint, senior inspector Arun Sawant said.
“The complainant is going to develop an area currently occupied by a slum for a slum rehabilitation project of the civic body. It is alleged that Kulkarni made some of the slum-dwellers file cases in the court from January this year. He then allegedly started demanding money from Kele to take those cases back. He allegedly demanded Rs 65 lakh and said he would take Rs 50 lakh first and the rest Rs 15 lakh later after the cases are withdrawn,” said the police officer.
He added, “When the builder paid the money to Kulkarni, he made an audio-recording of the conversation they had.”
Police said even after the money was paid to the lawyer, he and his father-in-law demanded Rs 95 lakh more and threatened to harm him if the money was not paid.
Inspector U B Shingade, who is investigating the case, said, “Kulkarni was arrested on Thursday morning. He was produced before the court and he has been remanded in police custody for four days. We will be probing many more aspects of the case.”