Stockbroker Gautam Vora, who allegedly helped Vijay Palande after he escaped from the police, was sent to police custody on Monday.
He was arrested by the crime branch in the morning and produced in the magistrate’s court with three other accused, Vijay Palande, Manoj Gajkosh and Simran Sood.
The prosecution told the court that after his escape, Palande had called Vora saying that he needed clothes and a place to stay, following which Vora took him to Colaba and bought him three T-shirts and a trouser and checked him into a hotel there under his own name.
Vora’s advocate Rajendra Sorankar argued that the stockbroker had played no role in the escape and had not knowingly helped Palande. “He did not know he is Palande. For him, he is Karan Sood,” Sorankar said, pointing out that Simran Sood had introduced Palande to him as her brother Karan.
Sorankar also claimed that the section invoked against Vora was not applicable. “He would have been the gang’s next victim. Vora could have been star witness for the prosecution,” he said. “Why have they not arrested the shopkeeper from whom he bought the clothes and the hotel where he stayed? Vora is being made a scapegoat as he is easy target.” The advocate also said Vora was cooperating with the police.
The prosecution, however, alleged that Vora was aware of Palande’s arrest and had actively participated in his escape.
The court has remanded Vora in police custody till April 27.