HC rejects bail plea of builder Bijlani in Loharia murder case

Bombay HC rejected the bail plea of builder Suresh Bijlani, accused in the murder of Navi Mumbai developer Sunil Loharia.

PTI| Updated: Dec 23, 2013, 20:25 PM IST

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday rejected the bail plea of builder Suresh Bijlani, accused in the murder of Navi Mumbai developer Sunil Loharia, on the ground that he was a threat to the son of the deceased.

"No case is made out for bail of the applicant as the son of the deceased is apprehending danger to his life. On merits there is no ground to grant him liberty," said Justice ML Tahiliyani while hearing Bijlani`s plea.

Additionally, the judge said, there is likelihood of Bijlani tampering with evidence if he was released on bail.

Another reason for rejecting his bail plea was that he (Bijlani) had earlier absconded for quite some time after Loharia`s murder, the judge said.
Police had opposed Bijlani`s bail in an affidavit saying they had inputs that he was a threat to the life of Loharia`s son, Sandeep. Police also said that there were chances that the accused may abscond if he was granted bail.

Police further said that there was evidence suggesting Bijlani`s alleged involvement in Loharia`s murder. There are call records and statements of witnesses which say that Bijlani was in touch with arrested accused Emmanuel Amolik and wanted accused Anurag Garg.

According to statements recorded by police, Bijlani had meetings with Amolik, Garg and other accused in his office. Even on the day of Loharia`s murder on February 16, 2013, there was a meeting at his office, the affidavit said.

Loharia was shot dead outside his office in Vashi in Navi Mumbai.

Home Department later transferred the case from Navi Mumbai Police to Mumbai Crime Branch following allegations of bias in the investigations.

Eight accused had been earlier arrested. They include shooters Venkatesh Shettiar, Wajid Qureshi, realty developer Sumit Bacchewar and retired `encounter specialist` Emmanuel Amolik.

Business rivalry is suspected to have led to the broad daylight murder, which was captured on CCTV camera.