The Mumbai Police on Tuesday told the Bombay High Court that they will not arrest Bharatiya Janata Party MLA Nitesh Rane in an attempt to murder case till Friday, when the case will be heard next, reported Bar and Bench.

The police gave the assurance on a plea filed by Rane before the High Court seeking interim protection from arrest. Rane is accused of being the main conspirator behind an attempt to murder incident that took place on December 18 in the Kankavli region of Maharashtra.

He had first moved a local court with the plea but it was rejected.

Rane was booked on a police complaint filed by Shiv Sena activist Santosh Parab, who alleged that people linked with the MLA attacked him, reported The Hindu.

The legislator is currently absconding and the police are trying to trace him.

During the hearing on Tuesday, advocate Niteen Pradhan, appearing for Rane, said that the legislator has been cooperating with the investigation and had also appeared to record his statement when called upon.

“He [Rane] is being prosecuted only for humiliation,” Pradhan said, reported PTI. “He appeared at the police station concerned on December 24, 2021, and his statement was recorded. Later, he was intimated that he might be arrested following which he sought pre-arrest bail.”

Special Public Prosecutor Sudeep Pasbola argued that there was evidence against Rane to show that he was the main conspirator and asked to court for time to place it on record.

Pasbola said that when Rane was called for interrogation, only his name was mentioned in the complaint. However, Rane absconded after one of his close confidante was arrested, who revealed the MLA’s role in the incident, he said.

“In any case, even if we want to [arrest Rane], we are not able to trace him,” Pasbola added.

Justice CV Bhadang said that the plea will be decided on merit and asked the police if they can file a reply within two to three days.

In his plea, Rane has claimed that he has been falsely implicated in the case. He alleged that the case was registered with the aim to prevent him from participating in the Sindhudurg Co-operative Bank District elections that were to be held on December 30.

Rane claimed that he had mocked Shiv Sena minister Aaditya Thackeray and this could also be the reason for the case against him.

There was no evidence on the spot or within the vicinity of the spot, and no direct involvement of the applicant in the assault, he contended.