The Bombay High Court has granted pre-arrest bail to a hospital manager accused of snatching the mobile phone of a nurse in Ulhasnagar, allegedly at the behest of the owner of the hospital where she worked.
Justice Milind Jadhav, on May 17, granted protection to Ramesh Kanojia, saying that in the event of arrest, he is to be released on executing a personal bond of Rs 50,000.
An FIR was filed on April 10 this year by a nurse, who works at Life Care Hospital owned by Dr Shahabuddin Shaikh. She alleged that on the date of the incident, she received a phone call from Shaikh and was summoned to hospital. When she and her sister started walking towards the hospital, she received another phone call. As she was about to answer it, a person snatched her phone and ran away. However, while doing so, his face mask came off and she recognised him. After going through the CCTV footage of a nearby camera, she recognised the man as Arshad Khan, residing in the hospital’s vicinity.
The police arrested Khan, and during investigation he revealed that he was hired by Shaikh to steal her phone as the owner-doctor suspected that there his photographs with another nurse working in the hospital were on the phone. He claimed to have been paid Rs 10,000 the same. The police alleged that Kanojia masterminded the entire incident along with Shaikh.
Kanojia’s advocate argued that he was working as a manager in the hospital. The police have not produced any material to show the nexus between Kanojia and Shakih in conspiring to steal the nurse’s phone.
Opposing the anticipatory bail plea, prosecution produced a report filed by the Investigating Officer stating that Shaikh, the owner of Life Care Hospital had conspired with his Manager (Kanojia) and other co-accused to commit the above crime and that they had paid an amount of Rs 10,000 to the co-accused to carry out the crime.
The court also took note of the fact that Shaikh and Khan have been released on bail in the case and the police have recovered the nurse’s mobile phone.
“There is no material placed on record to show the angle of collusion and conspiracy and/or the involvement or motive of Kanojia for effecting the present crime. In view thereof, no purpose will be served by apprehending him merely on the basis of suspicion at this stage. Prima facie, his custody is therefore not required,” said the HC while granting him protection from arrest.
The HC has asked Kanojia to cooperate with the investigation and attend the police station as and when called. He has also been directed not to tamper with the prosecution evidence / witnesses.