Sonali Phogat death case: Restaurant ‘owner’, 2 peddlers remanded to 5-day police custody

Published on Aug 28, 2022 09:37 PM IST

A Goa court remanded Edwin Nunes, the alleged owner of Curlies’ restaurant where Sonali Phogat spent her final hours, and two alleged drug peddlers to five-day police custody while also rejecting bail application of Nunes

Edwin Nunes, the alleged owner of Curlies’ restaurant where Sonali Phogat spent her final hours, and Dattaprasad Gaonkar, the room boy at the Grand Leoney Resort where Phogat and her team were staying who is alleged to have supplied them with the MDMA, were arrested by the Goa Police on Saturday and produced before the magistrate on Sunday morning. (PTI File Photo)
Edwin Nunes, the alleged owner of Curlies’ restaurant where Sonali Phogat spent her final hours, and Dattaprasad Gaonkar, the room boy at the Grand Leoney Resort where Phogat and her team were staying who is alleged to have supplied them with the MDMA, were arrested by the Goa Police on Saturday and produced before the magistrate on Sunday morning. (PTI File Photo)
By, Panaji

A Goa court on Sunday remanded Edwin Nunes, the alleged owner of Curlies’ restaurant where deceased BJP leader and actor Sonali Phogat spent her final hours, and two alleged drug peddlers to five-day police custody while also rejecting the bail application of Nunes.

Nunes filed a bail application claiming that the MDMA recovered from the toilet of Curlies’ restaurant was weighed along with the plastic bag in which it was seized, which is not as per procedure, as well as that he not being the “owner” of Curlies’ didn’t bear any responsibility for the happenings there.

“The MDMA that was seized was weighed along with the plastic bag to show that it is 2.8 grams of MDMA. Since plastic is not an illegal substance, its weight cannot be included as part of the seizure. We cited this in our bail application. The prosecution, however, claimed that the magistrate is not the right forum to hear a bail application since NDPS cases are involved and it should be heard before the NDPS court. Our bail application was rejected,” Advocate Kamlakant Poulekar, who represented the accused in the drug-related cases, said.

Poulekar also claimed that the police were yet to justify Nunes’ arrest since they couldn’t prove that he was the owner of Curlies’.

“It is our defence that Nunes is not the owner of Curlies’ and there is no document to show that he is the owner of the establishment. They have to show that he is the owner. We will be approaching the NDPS court (for bail),” Poulekar added.

He also said that the trio were booked in a “separate case” and were not accused in the alleged murder of Sonali Phogat.

Nunes and Dattaprasad Gaonkar, the room boy at the Grand Leoney Resort where Sonali Phogat and her team were staying who is alleged to have supplied them with the MDMA, were arrested by the Goa Police on Saturday and produced before the magistrate on Sunday morning.

On Sunday, the police also arrested one Ramdas “Rama” Mandrekar, who is alleged to have been Gaonkar’s original supplier. The trio has been remanded to five-day police custody.

The total number of arrests in the case has now risen to five. While Sonali’s manager Sudhir Sangwan and his associate Sukhwinder Singh have been charged with murder, poisoning and sections of the NDPS Act, Edwin Nunes, the owner of Curlies’ nightclub where Phogat spent her final hours, Gaonkar and Mandrekar have been charged with sections under the NDPS Act.

Ready to hand over case to CBI: Goa CM

Meanwhile, Goa chief minister Pramod Sawant on Sunday expressed his willingness to hand over the probe into the death of Sonali Phogat to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) after his Haryana counterpart Manohar Lal Khattar in a telephone conversation conveyed her family’s demand for the same.

Speaking to reporters, Sawant maintained that the Goa police have done a thorough investigation so far and said that Khattar in his conversation mentioned Phogat’s family’s demand for a CBI probe.

“If necessary, we will hand over the case to CBI after completion of all formalities. But the Goa police have done a thorough investigation so far,” Sawant said.

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