Mumbai: Stock broker Gautam Vora was on Monday granted bail by the Bombay High Court in the murder cases of Delhi-based businessman Arun Kumar Tikku and aspiring film producer Karan Kakkad. Vora was arrested in April for allegedly sheltering gangster Vijay Palande alias Karan Sood, the key accused in twin murders, when he escaped from police custody.
The High Court granted Vora bail on a surety of Rs 30,000. The court observed that the sections under which Vora was booked were bailable.
The sessions court had on May 4 rejected Vora's bail plea saying the case was at a crucial stage of investigation.
According to the police, after Palande gave police a slip on April 10, Vora helped him check into a hotel in South Mumbai. He also allegedly used his own credit card to buy clothes for Palande. Palande was, however, rearrested on the same day.
In his bail petition, Vora had claimed that he was unaware of Palande's real identity. "I was introduced to Palande though Simran Sood (co-accused in the murders) as Karan Sood. Simran had claimed that Karan was her brother and I believed her," he had said.
Palande was about to leave for the Mumbai International Airport to fly to Thailand, where visa on arrival facility is available, after his escape.
Palande along with Dhananjay Shinde and Manoj Gajkosh, all former associates of gangster Santosh Shetty, were nabbed in connection with the murder of Tikku in April in Mumbai. Tikku was found murdered in the bathroom of his first floor three-bedroom apartment in Lokhandwala Complex on April 7. His body bore six to eight stab wounds on abdomen and a computer chord was tied around his neck.
Palande, who introduced himself as Karan Sood, had first met the victim's actor-son Anuj Tikku through starlet Simran Sood. Palande had told Anuj that Sood was his sister.
Preliminary probe had suggested that the trio had conspired to usurp the three flats of the deceased in a high-rise building in the posh Lokhandwala area, police said.
(With additional inputs from PTI)