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HC cancels pre-arrest bail to lawyer by sessions court, calls order perverse | Mumbai News – Times of India



MUMBAI: The Bombay high court cancelled anticipatory bail granted by the sessions court to a lawyer accused of a criminal conspiracy and cheating a person, who was looking for a property in Mumbai to start a restaurant, of over Rs 2.5 crore. The sessions court’s order of pre-arrest bail to the lawyer is perverse and the sessions judge “appears to have been swayed by a thought that the arrest will impact the career of a young lawyer and affect his family”, said the high court.
“…endeavour of the judge ought to have been to uphold, protect and preserve integrity of the institution. Instead the (sessions) judge has sought to enhance personal interest of the accused – Nitin Mane, prima facie, whose conduct is a blot on the noble profession,” said justice Anuja Prabhudessai of the HC. She directed the HC registry to send the order to the State Bar Council to initiate proceedings against Mane for “professional misconduct”.
The allegation against Mane was that he tried to get a pending dispute between landlord of a property at Linking Road and another person, settled for Rs 4 crore, and offered to get a court receiver’s appointment set aside in 15 days. Allegations were that the informant was called to HC premises with cheques and Rs 2.5 crore in cash and to meet one of the parties, allegedly impersonated by a taxi driver, to sign a memorandum of understanding.
HC said considering “gravity of the offence” another lawyer Sunil Budhwant, a co-accused, was denied pre-arrest bail by the sessions court which however granted pre-arrest bail to Mane.
Before HC, there were two applications, a pre-arrest bail plea by Rajkumar Singh – the taxi driver, a co-accused with Mane – and the other a plea by the first informant, Jayant Patel, for cancellation of Mane’s pre-arrest bail, granted last November.
Senior counsel Mihir Desai, appearing for Mane, and advocate Shrikant Rathi for Singh, sought relief of pre-arrest bail for their clients. Advocate Kuldeep Patil, appearing for Patel, sought cancellation of relief as did S V Gavand, additional public prosecutor for the state.
The high court noted that the trial court judge M G Deshpande, who granted Mane bail, had “ignored” material that “prima facie shows (his) involvement” and tried to portray him as discharging professional duties as an advocate.
The HC said the sessions judge has chosen to believe Mane’s narrative that the first informant was liable to pay him legal dues of Rs 1 crore for his solitary appearance in the civil suit to which the informant is not a party.



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