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HC extends interim bail of 4 corporators in builder’s suicide case

The Bombay High Court extended till November 26 the interim bail granted to four corporators of the adjoining Thane city who had sought anticipatory bail in the suicide case of builder Suraj Parmar.

Justice A S Gadkari asked the four corporators of the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) – Vikrant Chavan (Congress), Najib Mulla, Hanumant Jagdale (both NCP) and Sudhakar Chavan (independent) – to file a rejoinder on November 26 to a government affidavit which opposed their bail plea on the ground that they were not cooperating with police in the probe and that their custodial interrogation was required.

A vacation bench of the HC had earlier granted them interim bail on November 3 on a surety of Rs. one lakh each. They were asked to deposit their mobile phones and passports with Thane police. The corporators were also directed not to enter the TMC premises until further court orders.

Parmar, a leading Thane-based builder, had shot himself on October 7. His suicide note alleged that a nexus of corporators and officials was harassing him for bribes.

The Thane police had registered a case of ‘abetment to suicide’ and for offences of criminal misconduct under the Prevention of Corruption Act after a notebook left by Parmar in his car revealed their names as the ones who had allegedly harassed him.

Public prosecutor Raja Thakre said the petitioners were not cooperating with police and their mobiles were found switched-off. Besides, their names were found in the builder’s notebook.

However, the defence lawyer pleaded that the names of the corporators given in the builder’s notebook were erased (by the builder) and denied their involvement in the suicide. He said they were willing to cooperate with police in the probe. He also said that custodial interrogation of the applicants was not necessary.

The family of the deceased builder intervened to describe as baseless the allegations of Parmar committing suicide because of Rs 150 crore Income Tax liability.

Earlier, a Thane sessions court had refused to grant anticipatory bail to the corporators. Being aggrieved, they moved the High Court.

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