A court in Maharashtra’s Nashik has granted an extension of police custody till December 18 for Lalit Patil, a key figure in a drug racket, and three other individuals arrested in connection with a significant mephedrone seizure case
A court in Maharashtra’s Nashik has granted an extension of police custody till December 18 for Lalit Patil, a key figure in a drug racket, and three other individuals arrested in connection with a significant mephedrone seizure case.
The decision was reached after the Nashik police, on Friday night, brought Patil, along with Rohit Chaudhari, Zeeshan Sheikh, and Harish Pant, from Mumbai`s Arthur Road jail to Nashik for further investigation.
The four accused, accused of involvement in a multi-crore mephedrone seizure case, were produced before the Nashik District and Sessions Court.
The court, after hearing arguments from both government and defense lawyers, remanded Lalit Patil, Rohit Chaudhari, Zeeshan Sheikh, and Harish Pant in police custody until December 18.
In contrast, another accused, Shivaji Shinde, was sent to judicial custody for a standard period of 14 days, according to a police official.
Lalit Patil emerged as the mastermind behind a drug racket dismantled by the Sakinaka police in Mumbai, following a two-month-long operation that included the confiscation of mephedrone valued at approximately Rs 300 crore and a raid on a drug manufacturing unit in Nashik.
The case took a dramatic turn when Patil, initially in Pune`s Yerawada prison for his involvement in another drug case, escaped on October 2 while being transported for X-ray imaging at Sassoon Hospital. He was subsequently apprehended in Karnataka two weeks later.
In the aftermath of the Sakinaka police operation, Nashik police also seized mephedrone and chemicals for drug production during a raid, estimating the contraband`s value at Rs 5.8 crore. A case was registered against Patil and others, leading to their arrests and subsequent remand.
Besides Lalit Patil, more than two dozen individuals have been arrested in connection with the drug seizure case.
Meanwhile, on December 5, the Pune police made significant arrests involving the Medical Officer and Chief Medical Officer of Sasson Hospital. Dr. Pravin Devkate, the Medical Officer, was arrested late at night, and Dr. Sanjay Marsale, the Chief Medical Officer of Yerwada Prison attached to Sassoon, was also taken into custody.
The arrests were made on allegations of their involvement in facilitating Lalit Patil`s escape and maintaining contact with Bhushan Patil and Abhishek Balkwade. Dr. Devkate, in particular, is being investigated for potentially assisting Patil`s escape from the hospital.
The Pune police are scrutinizing call records and financial transactions involving Devkate, Bhushan Patil, and Abhishek Balkwade. Dr. Marsale, on the other hand, is accused of playing a pivotal role in shifting Patil from jail to the hospital under the pretext of medical treatment.
The police claim that Marsale was in constant communication with Bhushan Patil, Abhishek Balkwade, and Sudhar Ingale. (With inputs from agencies)