Mumbai: In an order passed on Thursday by the Sessions Court, the court has ordered the authorities to return Kamala Mills owner, Ramesh Govani’s passport to him after he submitted an application to retrieve the same. Police, however, are yet to receive the order, following which appropriate action will be taken.
Govani, the owner of Kamala Mills, was arrested on January 22, by N M Joshi police in the fire from the two restaurants, Mojo’s Bistro spread to 1Above, on December 29, in which 14 were killed and 55 injured. On May 17, Govani was granted bail by the Bombay High Court, on the grounds, though the fire had broken out in the two pubs on the mill land, as the owner of that land, Govani had nothing to do with the daily operations of the restaurants. After the arrest, N M Joshi police had seized Govani’s passport and had retained it until further notice.
Once he got bail, the defence lawyers, Shyam Dewani, Sudeep Pasbola and Chirag Chanani, who are representing Govani in the matter had submitted an application to the court, asking them to return his passport at the earliest. When contacted Pandit Thorat, senior police inspector of N M Joshi police station said, the passports are still in the possession of police and they have not received any direction from the court to hand it over. “We are yet to receive any notification or order, following which appropriate action will be taken,” said Thorat.
Former top cop Julio Ribeiro said he was unaware about the development in the Kamala Mills probe where the passport was asked to return to Govani. Ribeiro said, “It is possible once Govani gets his hands on his passport, he might try to fly out of the country. However, since he has many properties in the city, he will return and would not stay absconding.” Ribeiro further said in case Govani absconds, a lookout notice will be issued and authorities will be alerted to nab him again.