A metropolitan magistrate court in its detailed order while denying bail to two police inspectors Nandkumar Gopale and Asha Korke arrested in an extortion case lodged at Marine drive police station by a developer, has stated that prima facie it appears there are reasonable grounds to believe that they have committed the non-bailable offence.
The court said that the alleged offence is serious in nature and both of them are police officers and are highly influential persons. Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate RM Nerlikar further stated that if they are released on bail, the possibility of them creating a hurdle in the investigation cannot be ruled out.
At the time the court passed the order, former city police commissioner Param Bir Singh, who is their co-accused in the case, was not traceable. The court said in its order that other co-accused who are police officers have absconded and are yet to be arrested and the extorted money is yet to be seized. It also noted that the process of recovery of chats from their mobiles is ongoing.
The duo had claimed bail on the ground of parity as their co-accused, private persons, Sanjay Punamiya and Sunil Jain, had been granted bail. Magistrate Nerlikar said from the allegations against them, “by no stretch of imagination it can be said that the rule of parity will be applicable.” The allegations and the role of each accused is required to be dealt with independently in respect of their role in the commission of the offence, the court said. Prima facie, the allegations, it said, clearly disclose that Gopale demanded Rs. 50 lakhs from the informant and the same was paid and accepted by Korke.
Prosecutor Shekhar Jagtap had opposed their bail pleas and told the court that instead of discharging their duty, the two had illegally demanded Rs. 50 lakhs from the informant to not arrest him in an offence registered against him at Juhu police station. The prosecutor further stated that if they are released on bail, it would hamper the probe.
On Monday, a response was filed by the state to Gopale and Korke’s bail applications before the sessions court. It opposed their pleas stating that the two have served as police officers for over 25 years and know the provisions of law as well as the importance of evidence. Thus, if they are released on bail, there is a strong possibility of them tampering with evidence and intimidating witnesses.