The Bombay High Court on Tuesday granted bail to Vijay Ahir, brother of gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli, in an extortion case in which he had been taken in custody twice.
Justice V.M. Kanade released Ahir against a bail of Rs 50,000 after his counsel argued that a person cannot be arrested twice in the same case — though the police invoked provisions of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) when they arrested him the second time — without following procedure.
On March 26, 2008, the police arrested Ahir in an extortion case filed by a developer, but he was released on bail by the metropolitan magistrate on April 17, 2008.
The police then arrested Gawli in the same case and invoked the MCOCA, which does not have bail provisions.
Then on April 29, 2008, Crime Branch again arrested Ahir stating that he would now be tried under the MCOCA.
Ahir’s counsel Adhik Shirodkar argued that the bail granted under Sections of the Criminal Procedure Code should have continued until the said bail was cancelled by following procedure of law.
“Can the police arrest an accused who has been granted bail without any warrant or applying for cancellation of bail. There is no proposition of law that an accused can be taken into custody as soon as an MCOCA offence is registered,” Ahir’s petition said.
The court on Tuesday directed Ahir to visit the Crime Branch office twice a week for six months.