Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has refused bail to an accused gangster held under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for allegedly assaulting a rival gang member in Pune in 2011, along with 14 others, in a bid to extort money.
Justices PV Hardas and PN Deshmukh said on October 7 they were prima facie of the view that there was enough evidence against the accused, Pappu alias Atul Sonba Jogawade.
The Judges observed that in the light of material against the accused on record establishing his presence, armed with a stick to commit the assault along with co-accused and also because he prima facie appears to have shared a common object, they found no force in the submission that no overt act is attributed to the appellant by any of the witnesses.
According to the complainant, he was asked by Nilesh Gawade of whose gang Jogawade is a member, and his men to come to a particular place near a temple or else his house would be demolished.
When the complainant went to that place with his friends, he found Nilesh and his associates who attacked them with sticks and swords.
According to police, it was apparently a fight between two gangs.
The accused took the defence that he was armed with stick and injuries caused to the victim were those of swords and sharp-edged weapons allegedly used in the crime. Hence, it could not be said that he had assaulted the victim. Moreover, the bamboo stick was recovered at his instance from bushes.
However, the court held that the fact that the stick was recovered from the bushes at the instance of the accused showed that he had knowledge about this. The court also felt that this defence could be used by the accused in the trial and not at this stage to seek bail.
Counsel for the Petitioner J Shekar argued that no specific role had been attributed to the accused by any of the eye-witnesses, including the injured witnesses and as such even prima facie it cannot be said that any case is made out against his client.
The accused, along with 14 others, was chargesheeted under IPC, Arms Act, Bombay Police Act and MCOCA.
Earlier, the accused had withdrawn his bail petition in the high court in February this year.