THE Ulhasnagar residents can celebrate Diwali few days prior to the actual day as, the Bombay High Court has rejected the bail plea of Mafia turned politician and former Ulhasnagar Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA), Suresh Budharmal Kalani alias Pappu. He has been convicted in a murder case.
On Tuesday, the bench headed by Justice S. C. Dharmadhikari rejected the Pappu Kalani’s application for reconsideration of the punishment awarded to him by the Sessions Court.
The Sessions court at Kalyan in Thane district on November 29, 2013, had awarded Pappu Kalani and his three associates (Bachie Pandey, Baba Gabriel and Arshad Shaikh) a life imprisonment for the murder of Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) activist Inder Bhatija. Sessions court judge, Rajeshwari Bapat Sarkar had found Pappu Kalani guilty of murder and criminal conspiracy.
Kalani had moved to the Bombay High Court against Kalyan sessions court’s conviction. He had also sought bail and suspension of sentence. On March 7, 2014 Bombay High Court had admitted his appeal, suspended his sentence and granted bail on the bond of Rs One Lakh. He had been barred from entering his home constituency Ulhasnagar. He has also been directed to report every 15 days in Kalyan police station. Due to lake of evidence two others-Narendra Ramsinghani and Richard Fernandes-, were acquitted.
Opposing the Bombay High Court’s order The Maharashtra government rushed to the Supreme Court (SC). The Supreme Court had stayed the bail granted by the Bombay high court. Later Kalani filed fresh bail application in Bombay High Court.
Bhatija brothers murder case
There were assembly elections in Ulhasnagar in 1990. Kalani was contesting as a Congress candidate. As the BJP members Bhatija brothers (Ghanshyam and Inder Bhatija) were supporting the BJP candidate, Sheetaldas Harchandani. During polling on February 27, 1990 Bhatija brothers caught Kalani’s supporters red hand while casting bogus votes. Then Bhatija brothers were threatened with dire consequences. On the same day, Ghanshyam Bhatija was killed on the road in front of Pinto Park Hotel on the orders given by Pappu Kalani. Inder Bhatija had managed to escape from the spot.
On April 27, 1990, Inder Bhatija was also gunned down in his office although he was provided police protection. Kalani won the election but was later arrested for the murder of Bhatija.
Pappu Kalani was initially charged under the Terrorist And Disruptive Activities (TADA) Act for Inder Bhatija’s murder. However in 2001, the judge dropped TADA charges against Kalani and transferred the murder trial to the Kalyan sessions court.