Ravi Mallesh Bora alias D.K. Rao, allegedly the most trusted lieutenant of underworld fugitive Chhota Rajan, attended a court hearing on Monday, for the first time in 10 years without police escort.
This court appearance was for a case lodged after he allegedly used cellphones in Arthur Road jail to stay in touch with his associates outside.
Rao was arrested from this jail in December 2005, after a cellphone was recovered from his cell. The police intercepted telephone conversations between Rao and Rajan. He is out on bail in that case — but has to attend court till a judgment is delivered.
Rao (37) was released on October 17 from the high-security Arthur Road jail after a special court in Pune acquitted him in a case of a local BJP corporator’s murder. Rao has a string of cases registered against him, but he has either been granted bail or acquitted in most of those cases.
“Since the other defense lawyer who would cross-examine witnesses was not present, the court adjourned the hearing till tomorrow,” said Rao’s lawyer Mahesh Mule.
A Pune MCOCA court, in September, had acquitted Rao and three of his alleged associates in the case of the murder of local corporator Satish Mishal, after the prosecution failed to prove its case.
Other cases pending against Rao include the murder of gangster O.P. Singh who broke away from the Rajan gang, and was allegedly murdered in Nashik jail in 2002.