A week after a Bengaluru sessions court granted custody of gangster Ravi Pujari to the Mumbai Police so that he could be taken to the city for 10 days, for framing of charges in a conspiracy case, the gangster earlier this week moved the Karnataka High Court opposing the order.
Pujari’s lawyer Dilraj Pereira said, “The hearing for our prayers seeking that the lower court order be set aside has been posted for November 27.” In the hearing on Friday, the HC also said that after his 10-day custody, the Mumbai Police should send Pujari back to the Karnataka prison where he is currently lodged, the lawyer said, adding that the court has directed that utmost security be provided to the gangster.
If the Mumbai Police takes Pujari’s custody before November 27, the petition seeking setting aside the lower court order will become infructuous. A Mumbai Police officer said that they have not been intimated about the petition in the HC and will soon be going to Bengaluru to take Pujari’s custody.
The Mumbai Police, which had been trying to get Pujari’s custody for nearly two years, was last Friday allowed by the 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 in Mumbai against the gangster, who was extradited to India from Senegal last February.
In the petition filed before the HC, Pujari has said that there was a threat to his life, as people from rival gangs, lodged in prisons across Mumbai, want to eliminate him. The writ petition also mentioned that the extradition order of Senegal was never produced by the prosecution in connection to any of the cases in which Pujari is an accused.
Alleging that the particular case of conspiracy to kill Raju Patil was not mentioned in the extradition order, the plea also sought that the police be asked to produce the order before the court. “The rules of specialty is very much applicable to the petitioner (Pujari) and he cannot be tried for other offences than those specified in the extradition order,” it added.
The plea argued that as in Karnataka, where Pujari is being questioned in jail and the trial conducted through video conference, the same could be done for the trial in Mumbai as well. “The very purpose of establishing e-courts and video conferencing is being defeated by the impugned order (of allowing Mumbai Police taking his custody),” it said.
The plea also said that the trial in the cases in which Pujari has been booked in Karnataka would be delayed if he is sent to Mumbai. “The petitioner is suffering from various ailments and is directed to undergo surgery by doctors at jail hospital,” it added.
The petition argued that Pujari’s custody is being sought based on confessional statements of other accused, which has no sanctity in law.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines