With witnesses turning hostile, the prosecution now faces an uphill task to prove that Farid Tanasha, a close associate of gangster Chhota Rajan, was killed in a dispute with a developer over a redevelopment project of a society in Chembur .
The Mumbai crime branch, who are investigating the case, had recorded the statements of members of the society who are alleged to have met Tanasha and sought his help against the developer. However, with the case at the stage of trial against the accused, the members of the society have failed to support the prosecution’s case and have been declared hostile.
The prosecution alleged that the members of Humlog co-operative housing society had given their society for redevelopment to M/s Prathmesh Developers Constructions. However, the members were not happy with the developer and had approached Tanasha for help. According to the prosecution, the director of the construction company, Dattatrya Bhakare, then allegedly approached gangster Bharat Nepali and paid him Rs90 lakh to eliminate Tanasha. Tanasha was gunned down on June 3, 2010 at his residence in Chembur by four people when no one was around.
One of the witness who were part of the group, which were in a dispute with the developer, has told the court during the cross examination by advocate Avinash Rasal that he and his mother, on whose name the flat was registered, had no issue with the developer. He denied having any knowledge that other members had approached Tanasha for help against the developer.
The witness has said that he had never told the police that the other member, Prakash Badarge, had informed him about the meeting with Tanasha.
“It did not happen that Prakash Badharge had told me that he had met Farid Tanasha and that Tanasha assured him he will help the society’s members,” the witness told the court, while he was being examined by the special public prosecutor before he was declared as hostile.
The other witness who was later examined by the prosecution too failed to support the theory of the prosecution that the members of the society had met Tanasha over a dispute with the developer. The prosecution declared the witness hostile last week and also dropped the examination of other members of the society. The prosecution has claimed that the members have turned hostile out of fear of the developer and other accused.
The sources claimed that the prosecution would now heavily rely on the call data records and interceptions of the calls of the accused recorded by the crime branch to prove the motive.