Police seeks cancellation of Republic TV journalist’s pre-arrest bail
BL Soni

The Khar police has sought the cancellation of the anticipatory bail granted to Republic TV consulting editor Pradeep Bhandari on the grounds that he has not attended the police station despite summons.

Bhandari was granted pre-arrest bail on October 15 and the police approached the court on October 21, within six days of the order. The case pertains to the disturbance caused by the Republic TV consulting editor along with a mob outside actor Kangana Ranaut's office during its demolition carried out by the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) in September for illegal construction.

Khar police told the court that granted him anticipatory bail during a hearing at the end of the last month that Bhandari had not been attending the police station even after summons. It also told the court that he had changed his address and not provided his contact number and sought that he be directed to attend the police station till the disposal of their plea.

Bhandari’s advocate told the court then that his client had not received any summons from the police station and is a resident of Indore, Madhya Pradesh. He informed the court that Bhandari’s mobile phone has been seized by the police. Hence, he does not have a contact number to provide. He was in the city for a temporary period and residing in a hotel at the time, he added further.

The investigating officer may serve the summons at the Republic TV’s office in Worli and Bhandari could attend the police station on any other day, he told. The court then directed that the journalist attend the police station every Saturday to be interrogated preferably on CCTV. The plea is yet to be decided and will be heard next on December 15.

Additional Sessions Judge RM Sadrani, while granting Bhandari bail, had directed that he furnish his detailed address and contact number to the investigating officer and attend the Khar police station as and when required. The court had also prohibited him from leaving the country.

Bhandari had been booked for the offences of disobedience of order promulgated by a public servant and assaulting or using criminal force on a public servant discharging his duty as well as under the Bombay Police Act.

In his order granting the relief of anticipatory bail to Bhandari, Judge Sadrani had said that from the contents of the FIR, it does not disclose that any force was used against any public officer in order to prevent him from discharging his duty. Bhandari's custodial interrogation was sought by the police as he had paid money to the public to raise slogans. The court observed that the offence levelled against him does not pertain to this and said that, considering the overall matter, there is nothing to be recovered through custodial interrogation.

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