The order copy convicting dance bar owner Manjit Singh Sethi and his son Vicky has not even been signed by the sessions judge, and the duo have already rushed to the Bombay high court challenging their conviction.
Sethi and Vicky who were convicted by sessions judge on February 6 on charged of kidnapping and robbing Kuldip Chandok, clerk of an advocate in 1997. Both have been sentenced to ten years of rigourous imprisonment and imposed a fine of Rs 25,000 each on both. If they fail to pay the fine, they would have to spend one more year in jail.
Sethi has contended his petition that there is no offence made out against them and that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges. Despite that they were convicted, which was an error on the part of the sessions court, claims Sethi's appeal.
Sethi and his son have approached the Bombay High Court challenging their conviction. The appeal prays that till their petition is heard, the sentenced may be suspended and they be released.
Sethi and his son Vicky were arrested by the police for allegedly kidnapping Kuldeep Chandok, a clerk with an advocate in 1997.
According to police, Sethi and Vicky met Chandok outside city civil and sessions court on January 6, 1997 and asked him to get in their car. They were accompanied by two other people. Once in the car, Sethi and Vicky snatched the bag from his hand and beat him up with belt, stick and iron rod and locked him up in the car.
Next day, on January 7, 1997, they left him at Chakala in Andheri, from where he went to his sister's house in Andheri.
According to prosecution, Sethi had agreed to enter into a contract to purchase a property at Seven Bungalow in suburban Andheri owned by one Rashmi Bhatnagar. However, the deal did not wok out. Later, Bhatnagar went to the US for a month and gave power of attorney to her lawyer, Shial, whose clerk Chandok, Sethi and son had allegedly kidnapped.
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.
The sessions court then convicted them early this month.
Public prosecutor Satish Borulkar argued that the sessions judge has not signed the conviction order yet and hence Sethi has not even attached the order copy. Asking Sethi's counsel Mahesh Jethmalani to get a copy of the sessions court order first, Justice V.K. Tahilramani has kept the matter on February 22.