MUMBAI: The Bhoiwada magistrate's court today granted bail to hotelier Vishal Karia, who was arrested earlier this month in connection with the Kamala Mills fire tragedy that claimed 14 lives.
"He has been granted bail for Rs 10,000," his lawyer Virendra Khot said.
Karia had approached the magistrate's court after the Bombay High Court today permitted him to seek immediate bail from a magistrate's court.
He was arrested by the N M Joshi Marg police station and booked under Section 216 of the Indian Penal Code for harbouring an offender after police found an Audi car belonging to prime accused Abhijeet Mankar, co-owner of the 1Above pub, at his residence.
On January 10, the Bhoiwada magistrate court had remanded him to police custody till January 17.
Karia, however, approached the Bombay High Court today challenging his police remand, saying that he had no connection to the main offence of the fire.
He said since the offence under section 216 of the IPC was bailable, the magistrate's order remanding him to weeklong police custody must be quashed.
He said he had merely kept one of the accused person's car at his house and should not be penalised since the "car had not committed any crime".
Justice Revati Mohite-Dere, who was presiding over Karia's plea, asked the police if it had intention of booking Karia under any other sections of the IPC based on their probe since the time that he was in their custody.
The special public prosecutor told the high court that they had "not found any material to link Karia with the main offence (of the fire) or for any other offence", except keeping the Audi car at his residence while the car's owner was absconding.