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Mankar case: defence alleges political motive; corporator still not caught

Additional sessions judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi deferred the anticipatory bail application of Congress corporator Deepak Mankar and and eight others...

Written by Express News Service | Pune |
June 18, 2009 3:09:47 am

Additional sessions judge Shalini Phansalkar-Joshi deferred the anticipatory bail application of Congress corporator Deepak Mankar and and eight others — involved in the property grabbing case — till Thursday as the prosecution sought time from the court on the issue. The other accused are builder Sudhir Karnataki,Sudhir Dharmadhikari,Datta Sagre,Sadhana Vartak,Balwant Natu,Avinash Natu,Shrinivas Natu and Suhas Natu.

There was high drama in the jam-packed courtroom on Wednesday as the defence counsel compromising advocates S K Jain,Harshad Nimbalkar and Sudheer Shah alleged that there was polical motive behind filing of the case.

The defence counsel said that some Shiv Sainiks Sena accompanied went to the Khadak police station and threatened the police to accept the complaint. The defence counsel said that in the forthcoming State Assembly election,Mankar and a Shiv Sena leader were likely to contest against each other from the Kothrud assembly constituency. “Therefore,the case was filed to spoil Mankar’s prospects in the elections.”

Jain said,”Natu filed a complaint to get the property back. But Natu filed the complaint more than one year after he sold the property. If he wanted the property back,he could have filed a civil suit but he chose to make a wild allegation against the accused.”

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Referring to the plea made by Kishore Jadhav of the Anti-Extortion Cell of the police to the court requesting that the police should be heard before granting bail to the accused,Jain said the police had all the time in the world to arrest the accused as they were very much available in the city all this while. Nimbalkar,representing Sakhre who is the general secretary of the City Congress committee,said,”Sakhre is not a builder and so does not have anything to with Natu’s property. He had not gone to the registrar’s office to execute the document.”

Countering the allegation of the prosecution that Sakhre,along with Karnataki and a few others,visited Natu’s residence and threatened to sell his portion of the property,Nimbalkar said,”Sakhre had gone to take possession of the other half part of the house which was sold to Karnataki and not force Natu to part with his share.” He said that a civil suit regarding the partition of property was pending; Natu unconditionally withdrew this.

Additional public prosecutor Neelima Vartak said the investigation is at a preliminary stage and the statements of some suspects have been recorded. “The police custody of the accused is required as the role of all in forcibly acquiring the property is to be enquired. Also,it has to be ascertained whether the accused pressurised Natu into selling his share in the property.”

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The prosecution on Wednesday demanded time to reply on whether the custody of the accused is necessary,if yes,then of whom and why?

Meanwhile,even after two days of extensive search operation,the crime branch was unable to arrest Mankar. Searches were conducted in different parts of Pune,Mumbai and Kopargaon,but in vain. Deputy Commissioner of Police (crime) Anil Kumbhare said that the search operation is on.

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First published on: 18-06-2009 at 03:09:47 am

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