Wednesday 17 Jul 2024

Pooja’s bail plea rejected, custodial probe ordered

THE GOAN NETWORK | JULY 11, 2024, 01:53 AM IST

In a setback for Pooja Sharma, the absconding accused in the Assagao house demolition case, the Sessions Court ordered her custodial interrogation while rejecting her anticipatory bail application on Wednesday.

After four days of arguments by the applicant and the Crime Branch, Sessions Judge Irshad Agha ruled that the actions of accused persons – including others implicated in the case – have shaken public confidence.

“An offence punishable for more than seven years is considered a serious offence, however, in the present case, the accused persons came with male and female bouncers and earth excavator. The accused persons took law in their hands. This act of the accused persons has shaken the confidence of the people at large,” the Court noted.

Judge Agha further pointed out that although victim Pradeep Agarwadekar withdrew his complaint, the severity of the case cannot be overlooked.

“Such criminal acts are offences against the public at large. Even if Pradeep Agarwadekar has withdrawn the complaint, the offence committed by the applicant along with others cannot be ignored. The complaint mentions the name of the applicant. The victim family members have not recovered from the trauma,” he stated.

Citing a Supreme Court judgement, the Court observed that if bail is granted the trauma will continue and may be aggravated. “The custody of the applicant is required for the purpose of custodial interrogation,” it ordered.

While the order paves the way for Sharma’s arrest, she is expected to appeal to the Bombay High Court at Goa. Her counsel, senior Advocate Surendra Desai however stated Sharma will decide after receiving a certified copy of the order.

“I am hurt by this order. There was every reason to grant her bail. There is political interference in the case. The law is above all,” he said, reacting to the order.

CB to intensify search for Pooja

PANAJI: The Crime Branch teams are likely to be dispatched to Mumbai again and Amritsar, where Pooja Sharma claimed to be residing last month, after the house demolition.

Sources stated that new summons could be issued to Sharma although there are plans to arrest her without notice. “The Sessions Court has accepted our submission that her custodial interrogation is required. We will intensify our search for her,” a source said.

It is however uncertain if Sharma will challenge the order in the High Court. Her counsel, Adv Surendra Desai on being asked about her whereabouts said she could be in Mumbai or elsewhere at present, depending on her schedule.

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