Pune: RTI activist illegally acquired property worth Rs 2700 crore

ST Correspondent
Saturday, 11 July 2020

Barhate's anticipatory bail application was rejected on Friday by the court of District Sessions Judge S N Sonawane. Pune police made these startling revelations regarding Barhate's property in the court while opposing his bail plea.

Pune: Investigation in connection with the builder extortion demand case has revealed that Right-To-Information (RTI) Activist Ravindra Laxman Barhate was the mastermind in the case and that he has illegally acquired property worth Rs 2700 crore so far.

Barhate's anticipatory bail application was rejected on Friday by the court of District Sessions Judge S N Sonawane. Pune police made these startling revelations regarding Barhate's property in the court while opposing his bail plea.

Based on a complaint filed by builder Sudhir Vasant Karnataki (64), a resident of Shiv-Tirth Nagar, Paud Road, Kothrud, Pune police had registered an FIR against Barhate. Charges levelled against Barhate included threatening Karnataki to implicate him in a false rape case and demanding Rs 2 crore and transferring ownership of land plot in Rasta Peth area.

Police had arrested three persons in this case earlier, including dismissed police constable Shailesh Jagtap, journalist Devendra Jain and another woman Deepti Aher. Barhate - along with a criminal-on-police-record Amol Chavan - was absconding since then and had applied for an anticipatory bail in the Shivajinagar District and Sessions Court. Jagtap, Jain and Aher were remanded to police custody by a court of Judicial Magistrate First Class on July 8. Karnataki has alleged in his complaint that Aher befriended him and later started demanding money from him.

Additional Public Prosecutor Rajesh Kavedia opposed the bail application filed by Barhate in the court. Kavedia told the court that Barhate himself is the mastermind in the extortion case.

Kavedia said, "Police need his custody to interrogate him on various aspects including where, when and how this conspiracy was hatched. Barhate had also filed another separate case against Karnataki at Hinjawadi police station earlier and that needs to be investigated too. Many documents were seized from Barhate's house and he has four cases registered against him so far. Considering all these aspects, Barhate's bail application needs to be rejected and police be allowed to arrest him."

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