The Bombay High Court on Friday stayed the delivery of order by sessions court in an alleged 1997 kidnapping case which involved dance bar owner Manjit Singh Sethi and his son Vicky.
Sethi’s counsel Mahesh Jethmalani argued that the entire case was engineered by the police to frame Sethi. Also, Sethi had told the Sessions court that he wanted to depose as a witness. “The court did not entertain his application and started delivering judgment,” said Jethmalani.
Justice SC Dharmadhikari while staying the delivery of order by the sessions judge till Sethi’s application is pending in the HC, has kept the matter for hearing on December 5.
According to police, Sethi and his son, Vicky, had kidnapped Kuldeep Singh Chandok, who was working as a clerk with an advocate, on January 6, 1997. Sethi had agreed to enter into a contract to purchase a property at Seven Bungalow in suburban Andheri owned by one Reshmi Bhatnagar. However, the deal did not wok out.
Initially, the bungalow was jointly owned by Bhatnagar and one Mumtaz Khan. However, there arose some dispute between the two ladies and the suit was filed in the city civil court. During this time, Sethi met Bhatnagar and showed interest in buying the property, said police.
However, the dispute between Bhatnagar and Khan was settled amicably. As a result, the deal between Bhatnagar and Sethi did not work out. Later Bhatnagar decided to shift to the US. Before leaving, she gave a power of attorney to her advocate A Shial which was to be executed in case of sale of property.
As Sethi wanted the property, and the deal was not working out, Sethi along with his son allegedly kidnapped Shial’s clerk, Chandok, on January 6, 1997, said police. Sethi also took away cash Rs 50,000 that the clerk was carrying, police sources added.
After Chandok managed to escape, a complaint was registered with the Colaba police station. After initial inquiry, Sethi and his son, Vicky were arrested on February 21, 1997 under the charges of kidnapping and robbery under the Indian Penal Code.
Subsequently, Sethi and his son were released on bail on May 7, 1997.