Close on the heels of his termination as special public prosecutor in a bank cheating case involving BJP leader Mohit Kambhoj, prosecutor Pradip Gharat has been removed from two more cases involving BJP politicians - one in an attempt to murder case against MLA Nitesh Rane and another, a funds misappropriation case where former MP Kirit Somaiya and his son and corporator Neil Somaiya are accused.
The prosecutor said he had received the termination letters on Monday in these two cases. It was only last week that he had been handed over his termination letter in the cheating case of Bank of India involving Kambhoj. A day after he was removed from the case, Kambhoj had withdrawn his anticipatory bail application. Gharat had said that his stiff opposition to the bank’s plea seeking to withdraw its complaint in the case might have brought his removal.
The prosecutor said no reason was given for his removal in the latest instances too. “What reason can they say? Government is changed?” he quipped. Gharat has been appearing in several cases against BJP leaders.
MLA Nitesh Rane, son of union minister Narayan Rane is accused of the attempt on life of a Shiv Sena functionary Santhosh Parab in December last year in Kankavli in Sindhudurg. The motorcycle Parab was riding was hit by an SUV without a number plate. A man had come out of the car and tried to stab him in the chest. The 44-year-old alleged he heard the man speaking to another in the vehicle about informing Nitesh Rane.
The case against Somaiyas is regarding misappropriation of funds to the tune of Rs. 57 crores collected as donations from the public for the restoration of warship INS Vikrant. Gharat is handling yet another case against Nitesh Rane - that of defamation of late actor Sushant Singh Rajput’s deceased manager Disha Salian in which senior Rane is also an accused.
“Nobody seems to be interested in justice, it is a very bad situation for democracy,” he said, adding that some persons are in difficulty and know what will happen if he is handling their case. “Knowing that I am dangerous for them, I am being removed,” he said.