Pune: District and Sessions Court Judge G P Agrawal revoked the eight days police custody granted by a lower court for the three aides of RTI activist Ravindra Barhate, in connection with an extortion case registered at Kothrud police station.
Judge Agrawal accepted the defence party's argument that helping a suspect abscond is a bailable offence and since the trio has no role in the extortion case, their police custody must be revoked and they should be granted bail.
Police had arrested Vishal Shivaji Dhore (36) and Aslam Manzur Pathan (24), both residents of Manjari in Hadapsar, and Siddharth Mahindra Dangi (28) who is a resident of Utkarsh Society in Katraj, on charges of helping Barhate and another suspect Amol Chavan flee from Pune city to an unknown location. Primary investigations have revealed that the trio had helped Barhate procure a new SIM card. Barhate's location was traced to Solapur, Lonavala and Panvel.
After their arrest, police had produced the three suspects in a Judicial Magistrate (First Class) court on July 21. The police had demanded for 10 days of police custody citing reasons such as the trio had tried to seize vehicles to take Barhate to different locations. The lower court had granted eight days of police custody on this account.
A revision plea challenging the lower court order on behalf of the three suspects was filed by Advocate Dadasaheb Bhoite, Advocate Sharad Bhoite and Advocate Rohini Langhe at the District and Session Court of Judge Agrawal. The defence lawyers during their argument said, "The suspects are charged with offences which are bailable in nature and they are not involved in the extortion case and hence their police custody should be revoked. Remanding suspects to police custody in bailable offences is against the law. They should be immediately released on bail."
The court accepted their argument and revoked the suspects' police custody. Later the suspects moved the lower court for bail which was granted to them.