Mumbai: Observing that probes were still at an initial stage, a sessions court on Friday rejected the bail plea of stock broker Gautam Vora who was arrested on charges of sheltering Vijay Palande, a prime accused in the murder of Delhi-based businessman Arunkumar Tikku and aspiring Bollywood producer Karan Kakkad.

According to police, after Palande gave police a slip on April 10, Vora allegedly drove him in his car and helped him check into a hotel in south Mumbai. Besides, Vora also allegedly used his credit card to buy clothes for Palande who was, however, re-arrested on the same day.   

In his bail petition, Vora claimed that he was falsely implicated in the case as he is unaware of Palande's real identity. "I was introduced to Palande through Simran Sood (co-accused in the two murders) as Karan Sood. Simran had claimed that Karan was her brother and I believed her," he claimed.

Public prosecutor Nilima Kasture argued that Vora knew Palande since a long time. Palande is accused in the two murder cases which are under investigation. Police is also probing if Vora had helped Palande and his associates in these crimes.

Investigation is at a very initial stage and it is too early to determine his exact role, the prosecutor said.

Kasture pointed out that if Vora had no knowledge about the criminal antecedents of Palande and knew him as Karan Sood, he should have taken him to his place and not to the hotel.

Further, the prosecutor argued, Vora booked the room in Palande's name and not in the name of Karan Sood, which reflects that he had the intention to help Palande.


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