A sessions court on Saturday rejected the interim bail pleas of Avinash Pawar and Liladhar Lodhi, co-accused in the 2018 Nalasopara arms haul case stating that it had already recorded earlier that there is a prima-facie case against them.
Pawar, whose residence is in Ghatkopar and Lodhi, from Jalgaon, had been arrested during investigations after arms were found during a raid in their now co-accused Vaibhav Raut’s flat in Nalasopara. Both had claimed in their pleas that there is no direct or indirect evidence against them and that they had been for two years in prison now. The trial is unlikely to commence soon due to Covid-19, they said.
Special Public Prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves had opposed their pleas telling the court that the two had been chargesheeted under serious offences such as the Explosives Act and the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA). Regarding Pawar, the prosecution told the court that his name had surfaced during interrogation of Raut and that he had undergone two days of training for making bombs. Gonsalves told the court arguing against bail for Lodhi that live bombs had been recovered from him.
Additional Sessions Judge Dinesh E. Kothalikar while rejecting the temporary bail pleas stated in his order that the court had already recorded earlier the finding that prima facie case exists for framing of charge against them, meaning that there are reasonable grounds to believe that the accusation against the accused are prima facie true. The earlier order not challenged had attained finality, the court said.
According to the case against them, the accused were motivated by the creation of a Hindu Rashtra by a book published by Sanathan Sanstha and had planned to attack a music festival held in Pune, but had later dropped the plan as one of them was apprehensive he had got captured in a CCTV camera around the venue. Some of the accused have also been named in the murder of journalist Gauri Lankesh and rationalist Narendra Dabholkar.