Bombay High Court Grants Bail To Gangster Prasad Pujari’s Cousin In 2 Cases

Bombay High Court Grants Bail To Gangster Prasad Pujari’s Cousin In 2 Cases

Prasad Pujari was recently deported from China after nearly 20 years’ search by the Indian authorities. He is facing multiple cases including those of murder, extortion, and attempted murder. Originally from Udupi in Karnataka, Pujari, allegedly operated from China with his wife.

FPJ News ServiceUpdated: Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 10:47 PM IST
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Bombay High Court | File pic

Mumbai: Observing that there is “scanty material in the charge-sheet”, the Bombay high court recently granted bail to gangster Prasad Pujari’s cousin Sukeshkumar Suvarna in two cases under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for his alleged involvement in Pujari’s criminal syndicate.

Prasad Pujari was recently deported from China after nearly 20 years’ search by the Indian authorities. He is facing multiple cases including those of murder, extortion, and attempted murder. Originally from Udupi in Karnataka, Pujari, allegedly operated from China with his wife.

According to the prosecution, one of the cases against Suvarna is an attempt to murder after allegedly being involved in a shooting at a Saibaba temple. In the second case, he is booked for alleged extortion and criminal intimidation related to a construction business.

State advocate Mahalakshmi Ganpathy submitted that Suvarna deposited significant amount of money into accounts associated with Pujari’s gang. He deposited Rs 49,000 and Rs 48,000 into two separate accounts, allegedly under the instructions from Pujari’s mother, Indira Pujari, at an ATM in Kinnigoli. These funds were part of the extortion proceeds collected by the gang, prosecution claimed.

Suvarna’s lawyer, Advocate Yashwardhan Tiwari, submitted that his alleged role was limited to these deposits and that he was unaware of the criminal antecedents. Prosecution had claimed that Suvarna visited Hong Kong with his aunt Indira Pujari. Towari replied that Suvarna had accompanied his aunt when he was 11-12 years old and had no knowledge of the gang’s activities at the time.

The court noted that there was minimal evidence against Suvarna and was primarily related to the money deposited. The court also relied on the bail granted to Indira Pujari, who was released due to insufficient evidence directly linking her to the gang’s activities.

“Prima facie, this scanty material in the charge-sheet do not justify his further incarceration and ultimately, it is for the prosecution to produce the relevant material to establish his membership in the organised crime syndicate, headed by Pujari,” Justice Bharati Dangre said.

The judge also took note of the fact that there are over 45 witnesses in one case and around 100 in another case and hence trial is not likely to conclude in near future. The court has directed his release in furnishing a personal bond of Rs 25,000 in each of the cases and regularly report to the investigating agency. He has been restrained from tampering with evidence or contacting witnesses.

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