| Bina Ramani
New Delhi, Sept. 6: Socialite Bina Ramani was arrested this evening in Goa on charges of forging ownership and liquor licences for Tamarind Court, the south Delhi restobar where model Jessica Lal was shot dead.
Ramani, a key witness in the murder case, was picked up in a joint operation carried out by police teams from Delhi and Goa.
The arrest was made at Candolim, 20 km from Panaji, where Ramani owns another restobar.
Ramani is being kept overnight in a women’s cell in a Panaji prison. She will probably be brought to Delhi tomorrow to be produced before the court which issued a non-bailable warrant on Monday.
Earlier in the day, Ramani had moved court for bail, which, Delhi police sources said, prompted the force to act fast. The bail plea will come up for hearing tomorrow.
When non-bailable warrants are issued, bail can be granted only by a court, unlike in the case of bailable warrants where the police can let off an accused on the basis of an undertaking.
The police had alleged in an FIR that Ramani and her husband George Mailhot had supplied forged documents to the municipal corporation to establish that they had become owners of the restaurant.
The court issued the warrant for custodial interrogation after the prosecution alleged that Ramani has been evading the investigating officer.
Ramani had said the police had “cooked up” the case, suggesting that efforts were on to prevent her from telling the truth when the Jessica murder retrial starts.
Today, Jessica’s sister Sabrina said she felt there was a “hidden agenda” behind the arrest. “It does not make sense to travel across the country on just the charge of forgery. There is more here than meets the eye,” Sabrina told The Telegraph.
The police said the arrest has nothing to do “directly” with Jessica’s murder.