The Mumbai Police Crime Branch will seek the custody of gangster Ravi Pujari this week, said officers of the Anti-Extortion Cell, which is investigating cases linked to him. The city police, which had been trying to get Pujari’s custody for nearly two years, was last Friday allowed by a Bengaluru court to take him to Mumbai for 10 days anytime before from December 10 in connection with a case of conspiracy to allegedly kill MNS leader Raju Patil in 2015.
There are at least 49 cases registered against the gangster in Mumbai who was extradited to India from Senegal last February.
However, sources said that the process of getting his custody may not be easy as Pujari’s lawyers are likely to challenge the Bengaluru court order. Pujari’s lawyers had opposed the grant of custody to Mumbai Police primarily on the ground that the Raju Patil case was not mentioned in the extradition order passed by the Senegal court.
An officer from the Anti Extortion Cell said, “We are making attempts to get him to the city during this week. In the absence of any constraints, we should be able to get him to the city soon.”
“We have charged him in at least 19 major crimes, including the case of Raju Patil, for which he will be produced before the court. His interrogation will help us file detailed chargesheet against him in these cases,” the officer added.
When contacted, Pujari’s lawyer Dilraj Sequeira said, “We have argued that the custody given to the Mumbai Police is bad in law. The case in which the custody is sought was not even mentioned in the extradition order. We had also filed an application seeking a copy of the extradition order but it was not provided. We will avail other remedies in law.”
Currently, Pujari is being tried in connection with 107 cases registered against him in Karnataka. He had earlier approached the Karnataka High Court seeking that his custody should be given to Mumbai Police or Kerala Police only after the trials in all cases against him in Karnataka were over.
The Indian Express had reported on Monday that a sessions judge in Bengaluru had agreed to give Pujari’s custody to Mumbai Police after a special court in Mumbai wrote to it regarding the matter. The special court in Mumbai is conducting trial against six persons for conspiracy to murder Raju Patil. Pujari is a wanted accused in the case.
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