The Bombay High Court on Thursday granted bail to former MLA Suresh alias Pappu Kalani, whose appeal against a life sentence awarded in a murder case is pending before the court.
On November 29, 2013, a Thane sessions court held 65-year-old Kalani and three others guilty of murdering BJP worker Inder Bhatija in 1999.
Kalani had sought bail, while his appeal against conviction was pending before the high court. His counsel Niteen Pradhan argued that the trial court had drawn the inference of Kalani’s involvement in the crime on the assumption that he was a strong-armed politician and may have had a role to play in Bathija’s murder. “But, law requires more than that and there was not a single circumstance to prove this,” said Pradhan.
The prosecution, however, said Kalani had also been accused in other criminal offences and was released on bail by the Supreme Court. The prosecution alleged that he had terrorised the town of Ulhasnagar, showing scant regard for court orders.
While granting him bail, Justice N H Patil and Anuja Prabhudesai, however, restrained Kalani from entering Ulhasnagar and directed him to report to the Kalyan Police Station fortnightly.