For the first time in the history of any court’s hearing, an underworld don requested the Mumbai special court to permit him to continue in police custody even while his lawyer disputed that he should not be transferred back for police questioning all over again. Special Public Prosecutor Sunil Gonsalves, appearing for the State and Advocate Sachin Kadam for the Anti Extortion Cell of Mumbai police asked for an additional extension of Pujari’s custody. Pujari was presented before Judge DE Kothalikar a little before noon, approximately 11.20 am on Tuesday.
The prosecution registered a statement of the investigation made so far and appealed for some more days to question Pujari. The judge administered the formal system of questioning Pujari if he had any charges against the police to which he answered in the negative. He said that he had no complaint of ill-treatment at the custody of the police. After this, Gonsalves presented that the confessional narrative of the arrested had been recorded by the Competent Authority and that accused was required to be defied concerning the averment delivered in the statement.
Advocate M Manerkar appearing for Pujari claimed that adequate opportunity had now been given to the Investigation Officer and therefore, there was no requirement to further extend the police custody. However, at this time when Mankekar was still disputing, Pujari got up and submitted that he would like to make certain submissions before the court. The court patiently listened to Pujari who told the court that he had no problem with the extension of police custody for 5 days. According to him, he had specific information which he desired to share with the Investigation Officer.
Judge Kothalikar then quickly extended Pujari’s custody till March 15. Raviprakash Sulya Pujari alias Ravi Pujari was produced in Mumbai from Bengaluru on February 22 in association with a firing incident that took place in suburban Vile Parle on October 21, 2016. According to police, it was done by the Pujari gang to threaten a restaurant owner and extort money. Pujari has about 52 cases against him in Mumbai alone. The red corner notice was issued in the year 2002 for Pujari to be taken back from Senegal. For the past year, he had been in the custody of Bengaluru court.