The anti-corruption wing of the Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday, arrested Sunil Shirole, the prime accused in the graft case involving Manisha Mhase, immediately after the Bombay high court rejected his anticipatory bail plea.
Shirole had been absconding ever since the CBI arrested two people — Somnath Sutar and Hansraj Singh — on Prabhat Road at Pune on October 10, while accepting a bribe of Rs30 lakh from a complainant.
The bribe was allegedly demanded and accepted for obtaining an order from the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission to a co-operative society favourable from Doddamarg in Sindhudurg district.
The accused had allegedly told the complainant, ex-chairman of the co-operative society, that they would use the influence of Manisha’s father and retired Bombay high court judge, justice SB Mhase, presently working as president of Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, with the members of the National Commission.
Manisha was also apprehended by the CBI following arrests of Sutar and Singh at Pune. Although, all the three went through CBI remand, judicial remand and ultimately got bail from a special CBI court, Shirole was absconding.
He moved the high court after the special CBI court rejected his anticipatory bail plea on October 22.
Apart from claiming innocence, his counsel, Uday Warunjikar, had argued that the Special CBI court had failed to appreciate the fact that the bribe amount had been demanded and accepted at the behest of Manisha.
On the other hand, CBI counsel Mandar Goswami pointed out that Shirole was the prime conspirator in the case and since he had been untraceable ever since the agency arrested Sutar and Singh. He pointed out to the court that his custodial interrogation was essential for furthering the investigation.