Court rejects Police plea for custodial interrogation

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Mumbai, Feb 25 (UNI) A local court today rejected a plea of city police to grant remand of Ashok Sarogi, the lawyer who was earlier representing extradited gangster Abu Salem, for his alleged connection with the suicide attempt by his former junior lawyer Pallavi Ashar recently.

The Metropolitan Magistrate Court at Vikroli rejected the police application on the ground that they (police) had ample time to arrest Mr Sarogi and four others for the interrogation, but they failed do so.

Ms Ashar, harassed by false news appearing in a section of media over her alleged love affair with Abu Salem, had made an attempt to commit suicide by consuming over 30 sleeping pills. The rumours were allegedly spread by her former employer Mr Sarogi.

She was representing Salem, who is an accused in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts case. His trial will be held separately.

Adv Sarogi had allegedly leaked love letters between Salem and Pallavi to the press. It is suspected that for this reason, Pallavi, who has changed her name to Almas Ansari after her marriage to Khalid Ansari, had tried to end her life.

Ms Ashar, in her statement to police, had stated that after the publication of the news, she was mentally disturbed because everybody, including relatives, were asking her about it and she was unable to face relatives, including her son. That was why she had taken the drastic step to commit suicide.

Police have recorded Pallavi's statement. Her husband, Khalid Ansari, had allegedly told mediapersons that Sarogi had circulated fake love letters through the media.

The court also rejected Mr Sarogi's application for bail, saying that the Sessions Court has already grated him bail and there was no necessity to grant bail again.

While granting bail to Mr Sargoi, the Sessions court had directed the police that if they wanted to arrest him, then they should issue a notice 48 hours prior to his arrest.

Ms Ashar has also filed first information report (FIR) with the Ghatkopar police station against her former colleagues -- Adv Rashid Ansari, Adv Usha Kajeriwal, Kavita Gandhi and Jayshree Shah, besides Mr Sarogi.

When the court asked about the arrest of four others, the prosecution stated that all of them were absconding.

UNI ST SSS VD RN1930

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