Updated: April 17, 2021 8:29:16 pm
The Bombay High Court on Friday refused bail to a man, accused of conspiring the murder of former Shiv Sena deputy shakha pramukh Sachin Vasant Sawant in April 2018.
Sawant (50) was allegedly shot by two men at Appapada in Malad East on April 22, 2018, night while he was returning home from a Sena shakha. Nine people were arrested in the case.
A single-judge bench of Justice Bharati H Dangre on April 16 passed the ruling on the bail application by Brijesh Nathuram Patel, booked for offences punishable under Sections 302 (murder), 307 (attempt to murder) and 120-B (criminal conspiracy) of the IPC, along with relevant provisions of the Arms Act, 1959, and the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), 1999. Patel was arrested on May 8, 2018.
As per the complaint filed by Sawant’s son, the rehabilitation work of the Ganesh Kripa Chawl in Kandivali (East), where his family was residing, was in progress and his father was the promoter of the Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA), formed for the said purpose that had entrusted the development work to Akash Developers.
The project involved nearly 1,300 houses, of which, 820 had accorded their consent for redevelopment, while nearly 125 people opposed it.
As per the prosecution, while investigating opposition to Sawant’s involvement in the project, it was revealed that local resident Brijesh Patel had floated an organisation called Prabhat Welfare Society, claiming to represent the interests of the Ganesh Kripa Chawl residents.
The police said Patel had been plotting to eliminate Sawant as the latter enjoyed the support of local residents. Patel had allegedly roped in Nilesh Sharma, a former employee of Sawant, to execute his plan.
Advocate A M Saraogi for Patel said his client is incarcerated for nearly three years and as per the chargesheet, no role is attributed to him in the episode. Saraogi added that a co-accused with a more serious role was released on bail by the HC in 2019 and therefore, Patel should be released too.
Special Public Prosecutor Vaibhav Bagade opposed the plea and said the investigation, conducted by the joint commissioner of police, revealed that a conspiracy was hatched to kill Sawant and therefore, the applicant should not be bailed.
The bench noted that involvement of co-accused persons is fortified by various revelations and connection of the applicant with Sharma is established.
Justice Dangre held, “The material clearly led to a conspiracy and the applicant being a part of the conspiracy. The offence being serious one where the deceased was done away by resorting to the method of contract killing on account of the dispute in the SRA project, considering the gravity of the offence, the applicant does not deserve his freedom at this stage, and the application filed is accordingly rejected.”
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