Pappu Kalani
Pappu Kalani

Krishna Pujari

THE Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed the bail granted by the Bombay high court to former Ulhasnagar MLA Suresh (Pappu) Kalani. Criminal turned politician Kalani was convicted in a 15-year-old BJP activist Inder Bhatija murder case.

Last year in November Kalyan sessions court had sentenced Kalani to life imprisonment. The court had found him guilty of “being behind the conspiracy to kill” the BJP activist.

Kalani had moved the HC for bail. The state government rushed to the SC in appeal when it lost. Kalani, it said has 34 other criminal cases pending against him and his release on bail would be detrimental. A three judge bench headed by the Chief Justice P Sathasivam, taking into consideration the many pending cases against Kalani, stayed the bail. However, Kalani’s lawyer on the other hand said he has been behind bars for nine years and it should bea ground for his release on bail pending appeal.

The Maharashtra government’s counsel Rajiv Mohite argued that Kalani had misused his liberty after he had been granted bail earlier by the Supreme Court. He had allegedly been involved in several crimes while on bail.

In the Bombay HC a bench headed by Justice Naresh Patil had asked Kalani (63) to furnish a surety of Rs one lakh and report to Kalyan police once a fortnight last Friday. The court however restrained Kalani from entering Ulhasnagar city.

Bhatija was shot dead in April 1990, two months after his brother Ghanshyam was gunned down. That year, Kalani was contesting the assembly elections from the Ulhasnagar constituency as a Congress candidate, while the Bhateja brothers were backing the BJP candidate, Sheetaldas Harchandani.

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