22,23,24: Gautam Vora, a hotshot broker and a regular at top Page 3 dos in Mumbai,
was arrested on Monday on charges of giving shelter to gangster and
murder accused Vijay Palande (casting Vikram Deshmukh)
. Vora had first hit the headlines as the boyfriend of the late Viveka Babajee in 2010 when the model committed suicide.
Vora's name has now resurfaced after his arrest in connection with the twin murder cases of aspiring Bollywood producer Karan Kakkad (casting Jai Rathod)
and Delhi-based businessman Arun Tikku (casting Amar Batra)
The police claimed that Vora had arranged for a hotel for Palande once
the latter fled from the custody of the Mumbai police after his arrest
on April 11.
According to crime branch officials, Palande had called up Vora for
help, who then booked a room for Palande. The intention, police
officials said, was to ensure that Palande could flee the country. Vora
allegedly not just gave Palande fresh clothes but also arranged for a
ticket to Bangkok - he would have got the visa on arrival - that was to
be delivered to Palande at the airport by one of Vora's men. The police,
though, rearrested Palande before he could escape to Bangkok.
Vora met Palande at 9.30pm in room no. 301 of Hotel Godwin in Marine
Lines. The stockbroker reportedly got three Tshirts and a pair of
trousers for Palande, they said. While entering the hotel, Palande, who
looked unkempt, pretended to be the stockbroker's servant. The room was
booked till 7am.
The police are trying to find out why Vora helped a murder accused, who had escaped from custody.
Vora was produced before a court in Mumbai where he was remanded in
police custody till April 27. The stockbroker's counsel argued that Vora
did not know that the man he knew as Karan Sood was actually Vijay
"Simran Sood introduced Karan Sood as her brother to Vora. He never knew
that his real name was Palande and on April 10, when Palande sought
Vora's help, he did not know that he was accused of a serious crime,"
Vora's lawyer Rajendra Sorankar said.
He further argued that Vora would not have shielded Palande if he had
known what he was up to as the stockbroker himself could have been his
next target. But, the court rejected Vora's bail plea. What could create
more problems for the stockbroker and Palande is the police's plan to
book all the accused under the dreaded Maharashtra Control of Organised
Crime Act (MCOCA).
Vora is in charge of running the ULJK Broking Firm, which is owned by
his father. He completed his education at the Indiana University,
Bloomington, US. He lives in a plush house located in the highly posh
area of Nepean Sea Road in Mumbai.
The stockbroker, who leads a flamboyant lifestyle, is known to throw big
parties and is also regularly visible in Mumbai's A-list party circuit.
It is said the entrepreneur loves to live life kingsize and enjoys
hobnobbing with the rich and famous.
In 2010, Gautam was interrogated by the police after his thengirlfriend,
model Viveka, committed suicide. Gautam and Viveka were said to be in a
relationship. In her suicide note, Viveka blamed Vora for her death.
Vora's popularity among girls was what depressed Viveka, who was serious
about commitment. The model was found hanging in her Bandra flat and
some intimate snaps of the couple were released by the family later on.
Vora claimed that he was not dating Viveka and that they were just
friends. Police subsequently gave him a clean chit in the suicide case
due to the lack of evidence.
As Vora's name resurfaces in the Tikku-Kakkad murder cases, there are
reports that Palande's partner-in-crime Simran Sood was in a
relationship with Vora around the time of Viveka's death, and thereby,
that could have been the cause of her suicide. However, it is yet not
clear whether Simran was responsible for Viveka's suicide or whether
Vora was two timing both of them. Initially, Vora was untraceable. The
police are now going to question him on his and Simran's relationship as
well as on his supporting her financially.
- Stock broker Gautam Vora was arrested on charges of giving shelter to
Vijay Palande, accused of murdering businessman Arun Tikku and budding
producer Karan Kakkad, after the latter escaped from police custody
- Palande was arrested in Mumbai on April 10, but escaped later the same day from a police vehicle
- He subsequently approached stock broker Vora, who arrived in his car
and took him to a hotel in Colaba- On Monday, Vora was produced before a
local court, which remanded him in police custody till April 27