Pune, 2nd January 2024: Vinay Aranha, a partner in the Rosary Education Group, was granted bail on Monday by the district court in connection with the case involving the aiding of drug kingpin Lalit Patil’s escape from Sassoon General Hospital on October 2, 2023. However, Aranha, currently held in Taloja prison, is unlikely to be released as he remains in judicial custody in an Enforcement Directorate (ED) case.
The escape incident occurred while both Patil, arrested in a Rs20 crore mephedrone (MD) drug haul at Chakan in October 2020, and Aranha, arrested by the ED on March 9, 2023, in a Rs20 crore bank loan fraud, were receiving treatment in the prisoners’ ward at Sassoon hospital. Aranha had been admitted two weeks prior to the escape.
Bhagyashree Sortur, Aranha’s lawyer, stated, “The court granted bail to Aranha considering that the Pune crime branch completed investigations and filed a chargesheet on December 4, 2023, against him and five others in the case before a magisterial court.”
She further explained, “The bail is contingent on Aranha providing a personal bond of Rs1 lakh with surety bonds of the same amount. The court has also prohibited our client from influencing prosecution witnesses, and we are committed to complying with these bail conditions.”
Aranha’s initial bail application had been rejected by the court when the police investigation into the escape case was ongoing. Following Patil’s escape, Aranha, currently under the judicial custody of a PMLA court in Mumbai, was transferred back to Taloja prison after a comprehensive review of all undertrials and convicts undergoing treatment at Sassoon hospital.