Minutes after it rejected Mumbai police’s plea seeking custody of Gunaratna Sadavarte in the protest incident that took place near Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) Chief Sharad Pawar’s house earlier this month, a court in Girgaon accepted Kolhapur police’s application and granted them the advocate’s custody on Wednesday.
A case for making provocative statements against the Maratha community had been registered against Sadavarte in Kolhapur. Cops from Akola, where a case of cheating has been registered against Sadavarte for allegedly duping more than 200 MSRTC workers, were also in Mumbai to take his custody.
According to police officials, Sadavarte, who was lodged in Arthur Road jail, was presented in court by the Mumbai police who wished to conduct his custodial interrogation.
The Gamdevi police pleaded that they have recovered a cash-counting machine, property and vehicle, adding that some incriminating documents were also found.
However, Sadavarte, who represented himself in court, argued that he bought the house and vehicle way before the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC) strike began and that transactions for the same were on record.
“There is no need for police custody, they are seeking my custody so that I do not get bail,” Sadavarte told court.
After hearing both sides, the court remanded him in judicial custody. Soon after, Kolhapur police moved an application seeking his custody.
A case was registered against Sadavarte at Shahupuri police station in Kolhapur on April 15 for allegedly hurting the sentiments of the Maratha community and trying to spread disharmony in the society.
“Kolhapur police have been granted his custody. We will get his custody after them,” said an officer from Akot police station in Akola.
Several people, mostly striking employees of the Maharashtra State Road Transport Corporation (MSRTC), were among those held by the Gamdevi police for rioting outside Pawar’s residence Silver Oak in Mumbai.