While the Sewree Sessions Court earlier yesterday granted the gangster turned developer anticipatory bail in an assault-extortion case, he was arrested in another case a few hours later. On Monday, we had reported how NM Joshi Marg police had booked Naik for allegedly thrashing a BMC contractor (‘Ashwin Naik booked for assaulting BMC contractor’).
Additional Sessions Judge GD Tadwalkar questioned the motives of the police, asking why they required Naik for questioning if his role was already clear. “If his only role was to mediate, why is he needed for custodial interrogation?” he asked. Naik was released on cash bail of Rs 15,000. Bharat Mane, Naik’s advocate said, “The fact that the case was first registered as non-cognisable and then subsequently an FIR was lodged raised suspicions.”
Naik’s lawyers had also pointed out that he was wheelchair-bound, therefore deserving bail on humanitarian grounds. More significantly, the court felt that the facts of the case, as made out in the FIR, did not make out the ingredients of ‘extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt’ under section 387 of IPC.
But not for long
Naik’s bliss was short-lived as the anti-extortion cell of the crime branch arrested him in an unrelated case. Naik was picked up on the complaint of a builder, whose name was being withheld by police at the time of going to press. According to cops, Naik allegedly demanded Rs 3 crore from him. The reasons and circumstances pertaining to the crime remain unclear. The complaint was registered at Dadar. “We have arrested Naik under section 387 (putting person in fear of death or of grievous hurt, in order to commit extortion) and 506 (criminal intimidation) of IPC,” said Nisar Tamboli, Mumbai police spokesperson. “He was arrested in an extortion case registered at Dadar police station by a builder,” Bharat Mane confirmed.