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Tikku murder case: HC grants bail to Gautam Vora

The Bombay High Court today granted bail to stock broker Gautam Vora, arrested on charges of harbouring a prime accused in the murder of Delhi-based businessman Arunkumar Tikku.

Vora, arrested on April 24, had approached the high court seeking bail after the sessions court rejected his plea on the grounds that the investigations were in an initial stage.

Vora has been booked under sections 212 (harbouring an offender), 202 (intentional omission to give information) and 225 (resistance or obstruction to lawful apprehension of an offender).

Gautam Vora, Viveka Babajee
Gautam Vora with late model Viveka Babajee. 

Justice A M Thipsay, however, observed that Vora has only harboured the co-accused and that the section 225 does not apply in this case. "Prima facie, no offence under section 225 is made out against the applicant (Vora). Where is the question of resistance or obstruction? The other two sections are bailable hence bail cannot be refused," Justice Thipsay observed.

The court has granted Vora bail on a surety of Rs 30,000.

Vora has been accused of helping Vijay Palande, the key accused in the gruesome double murders of Tikku and aspiring producer Karan Kakkad.

According to police, Vora had helped Palande check into a hotel in South Mumbai after Palande escaped from the clutches of the police on April 10, soon after his arrest and had approached Vora, who helped him with shelter and food.

Vora had also swiped his credit card to buy clothes for Palande. In his bail petition, Vora claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case as he was unaware of Palande's real identity.

"I was introduced to Palande though Simran Sood (co-accused in the murders) as Karan Sood. Simran had claimed that Karan was her brother and I believed her", he said. Vora claimed that he was not aware that Palande was absconding from the police at that time. 

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