Gutka barons — Rasiklal Dhariwal of RMD Gutka and Jagdish Joshi of Goa Gutka — have contended that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) wants them in their custody without possessing any evidence against them.
Dhariwal and Joshi have challenged the non-bailable warrants issued against them by the special court under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act for their alleged underworld nexus.
The warrants were acquired by the investigating agency by showing them as “proposed accused”. Their counsel, Sushil Kumar, argued that although the charge sheet is filed in the case, the CBI is still investigating it.
“Without any material against us, the CBI wants us arrested. They are determined to get our custody for custodial interrogation,” argued Kumar.
The FIR lodged in October 10, 2004, does not mention anything about the underworld nexus, argued Kumar. CBI had alleged before a special court that Dhariwal and Joshi had allegedly helped underworld don, Dawood Ibrahim, in setting up a gutka business in Pakistan.
According to the CBI, co-accused had disclosed during interrogation, that they had sent gutka pouch-making machines to Pakistan via Dubai at the instance of both gutka barons to establish a gutka business for Ibrahim.
Kumar also argued that they are not aware as to what “sanction” has the CBI got, the basis on which they are seeking custodial interrogation of the duo.
“We have not seen the sanction order. However, usually, the investigating agency first completes investigation, places material before the sanctioning authority after which the court takes cognisance. Here the agency has first taken the warrants for investigation,” argued Kumar.
A division bench of justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice U.D. Salvi asked on what basis they have challenged the non-bailable warrant and the sanction order. “If you don’t have a copy of the sanction order, then how can you challenge it?” asked Justice Khanwilkar.
Kumar will continue his arguments on Thursday.