But Jha claimed that he had never asked for such a huge amount and that his total fees was Rs 12 lakh. Jha also claimed that there was another transaction between the parties pertaining to a flat and that he only asked Gole to register the flat and had not forced him to transfer the property.
However, on the very next day of the incident on April 3, Jha was arrested. On Monday, when the matter came up for hearing before Justice Kathawalla’s court, advocate Subhash Jha told the bench that the arrest of Jha was illegal. He told the bench that Jha was arrested on April 3 and was produced before the Magistrate court on April 5.
The bench crosschecked this fact from advocate Prashant Pandey, who appeared for Jha, and he reaffirmed it.
Chief public prosecutor Deepak Thakare initially told the judges that Jha was arrested on April 3 and produced before the court for custody on April 5. But when Justice Kathawalla pointed out that this would amount to illegal detention and custody thereafter, Thakare changed his statement and told the court that the advocate was indeed arrested on April 5 after the FIR was lodged and was produced before the court early morning.
Jha then told the bench that the arrested advocate was handcuffed, which is a gross abuse of human rights. “Was he handcuffed?” Justice Kathawalla asked Thakare, who replied in affirmative. “Is he a very grave criminal?” the judge questioned further which received a negative response. At this, Justice Kathawalla said, “Why to handcuff? Are you not aware of the laws?”
Further the bench asked Thakare to submit the CCTV footage of the Kharghar police station from April 3 to April 6. At this, the prosecutor said there aren’t any CCTV cameras in the police station and that installation work of these cameras started on May 1.
“How can you make irresponsible statements and mislead this court. You are changing your statements,” Justice Kathawalla told Thakare. The bench further said that the matter was quite serious. “This is a very serious matter. We can’t take it so lightly,” the judges said.
Thakare tried to convince the bench that he was making the submissions on instructions and said would ask the police to file a proper affidavit. The bench then ordered the police to file a detailed affidavit and clarify its stand in the matters.
Meanwhile, Jha told the bench that his client was abused by cops and that he has the videos of the same. He sought to transfer the probe by an independent agency. However, the request was opposed. At this, Justice Kathawalla said, “If the state police force is going to behave in this fashion… Don’t compel us to transfer the probe to CBI or any other agency.”
The matter would be heard next on Wednesday.