HC judge recuses self from hearing Suresh Bijlani’s bail plea, as he was the public prosecutor in the case earlier
The Bombay High Court justice recused himself yesterday in the matter of bail application of Navi Mumbai-based builder Suresh Bijlani, who is lodged in Arthur Road jail, in connection with the murder of builder Sunil Loharia.
“Not before me,” said Justice Aabhay Gadkari, as he was once the special public prosecutor in the case. Senior counsel Sanjeev Kadam, representing Bijlani said that they would approach another vacation bench next week.
“Bijlani needs bail since his mother is slated for a surgery,” said Kadam.
Sandeep Kumar, Loharia’s son alleged Supreme Court Justice AK Patnaik of having close contacts with Bijlani. He also submitted a video to prove the same. This led to Patnaik asking the then Chief Justice to change the bench, and accordingly the case was transferred to Justice CK Prasad. This took place in February 2014, when Patnaik rejected Bijlani’s bail application, in the capacity of a justice, but granted a month’s leave for his (Bijlani) father’s surgery.
Bombay HC rejected Bijlani’s bail in December 2013, after which he approached the SC.
On February 12, 2013, two motorcycle-borne men fired at Loharia in his Vashi sector 28 office. Bijlani is the main accused and was arrested in July 2013 and the other arrested include former cop Emmanuel Amolik, Anurag Garg, who engineered the case along with the shooters.