The Bombay High Court has rejected the bail application of Shraddha Mangle, who was arrested by the Anti Extortion Cell of Thane in a case concerning extortion of IAS officer Radheshyam Mopalwar. Along with Shraddha, her husband Satish, a real estate broker and gangster, Ravi Pujari are facing charges of extorting the officer of Rs. 7 crores under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA). She has been in custody since her arrest on November 03, 2017.
Justice Bharti Dangre rejected Mangle’s bail plea on June 21, observing, “Considering the material contained in the charge sheet, which clearly indicates the involvement of the applicant…the request of the applicant to release her on bail cannot be granted.”
The HC was hearing a petition filed by Mangle seeking bail contending that she has been falsely implicated in the case. She has alleged that she has been arraigned as an accused only to take revenge for the acts done, at the instance of her husband Satish Mangle, in exposing the misdeeds of the complainant, Mopalwar.
Additional public prosecutor Anamika Malhotra informed the HC that the trial is at the fag end. Only the cross-examination of the Investigating Officer remains, which was deferred at the request of the accused. The special case would be concluded by July 30, subject to all the accused rendering their cooperation, said Malhotra.
Mangle’s advocate Abha Singh submitted the transcript of the conversation between Mopalwar and Satish Mangle, where the latter is refusing to accept the money being offered by Mopalwar. Singh also argued that in order to keep Mangle and her husband in jail for a longer time, MCOCA was invoked by involving the gangster Ravi Pujari on the pretext of making a fictitious call in his name.
The court noted that the charge sheet contained the confessional statement of Satish Mangle which implicates Shraddha Mangle. Satish has said that Shraddha and co-accused Anil Ved Mehta also “threatened Mopalwar by remaining present in Room No. 205 of Shangrila Resorts to make the payment, as demanded, or else threatened him to face dire consequences”. Satish has further claimed that he had apprised Shraddha, her brother Atul Tawde, and Anil Ved of his conversations with Ravi Pujari.
Similarly, her brother Atul Tawde’s confessional statement also implicates Shraddha, the HC noted.
Justice Dangre also observed that Shraddha cannot be granted bail looking at the gravity of accusations, flight risk, and the possibility of tampering with the prosecution case. The HC has requested the special court to conclude the proceedings expeditiously, and in any case, not later than September 30.