The Supreme Court on Friday upheld the Bombay High Court judgment, quashing Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) and other criminal charges against alleged gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli in an extortion case.
A bench, headed by Justice P. Sathasivam, held that evidence on record indicated that the Mumbai police had pressured and harassed the complainant, Mohammad Qureshi, a businessman, to lodge the cases against Gawli.
“There has been a persistent stand taken by Ayesha Qureshi that the complaint was not made voluntarily and her husband and other family members had been subjected to a great deal of harassment and persecution by the police for no fault of theirs,” the court said.
On a complaint by Qureshi, the Deputy Commissioner of Police, CID (Unit III) had lodged a complaint on November 8, 2005, against Gawli for allegedly extorting about Rs 25 lakh from him and another businessman Doshi.
Charges under MCOCA were slapped against Gawli.
Qureshi and his wife moved the Bombay Hight Court and the State Human Rights Commission, alleging the complaint was lodged under threats and police pressure.
Gawli too sought quashing of the criminal case registered against him.
The Bombay High Court quashed the cases against Gawli following which the Maharashtra government appealed before the Supreme Court, claiming the complainants were forced to turn hostile by Gawli.