Apex court upholds quashing of FIR against Arun Gawli
The Supreme Court today dismissed an appeal by Maharashtra government challenging the Bombay High Court verdict quashing an FIR and permission to invoke the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against underworld don-turned-politician Arun Gawli.delhi Updated: Aug 27, 2010 19:54 IST
The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed an appeal by Maharashtra government challenging the Bombay High Court verdict quashing an FIR and permission to invoke the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against underworld don-turned-politician Arun Gawli.
The high court July 27, 2007 quashed the FIR and the order of the state government granting approval to invoke MCOCA against Gawli. The court had also ordered release of Gawli and two others. However, the three were not released on a plea by the state government.
The court had cited "insufficient material to support the conviction of the accused" as its reason for quashing the complaint against Gawli. The Maharashtra government had challenged the ground on which the FIR and the approval for the invoking of MCOCA was set aside.
While upholding the verdict of the Bombay High Court, the apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan said that "it was a fit case for quashing the proceedings. So we dismiss the appeal" by the state government.
The Maharashtra government had argued that if the ground of "insufficient" material taken by the Bombay High Court were to be accepted, then it would open a "Pandora's box".
Justice Chauhan, who wrote the judgment, however said that there could not be a universal application of this ground as this aspect had to be seen on a case-to-case basis to find out if there was sufficient material to sustain the FIR.
In this particular case, Mohammad Shakil Qureshi and C.A. Rajendra Doshi jointly purchased Pritam International Hotel for Rs.1.5 crore. For Qureshi, it turned out to be a bad business deal and he wanted to offload his share but found no takers despite repeated efforts including placing advertisement in newspapers.
In July 2005, Qureshi approached Gawli who brokered a deal between Qureshi and Doshi.
Qureshi sold his stakes for Rs.55 lakh. Gawali allegedly took Rs.15 lakh for his Shivsambhu Trust from Qureshi and another Rs.3 lakh were paid to his associates. Similarly, Rs.10 lakh and Rs.5 lakh were paid by Doshi.
In September 2005, Doshi lodged a complaint with police and in November 2005, Qureshi lodged a complaint against Gawli's gang.