The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected the plea of gutka barons Rasiklal Manikchand Dhariwal and Jagdish Joshi challenging non-bailable warrants issued against them by a special court for their alleged nexus with underworld don Dawood Ibrahim.
The duo also challenged registration of case against them under Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) after obtaining sanction from the competent authority.
Both are living abroad since 2004 and have not returned to India in view of the warrants issued against them.
Dhariwal and Joshi were accused of exporting gutka manufacturing machines to Pakistan via Dubai to enable the Karachi-based don set up gutka business empire in the neighbouring country.
A division bench headed by Justice Ajay Khanvilkar, however, stayed the operation of the special court's order on issue of non-bailable warrants for a period of four weeks to enable the duo appear before the MCOCA court after giving 48 hours notice to investigating officer.
The court also held that it would be open for the investigating officer to present supplementary chargesheet against the petitioners.
The High Court ruled that it was keeping the question open in regard to continuation of the passports of the two petitioners lying with the special court and execution of non-bailable warrants against them.
The bench asked the special court to consider these issues afresh.
Both were implicated in the case after Rajesh Pancharia, a Dawood Ibrahim gang member, was arrested. It was Rajesh who told police that gutka machines were sent by him to Dawood in Pakistan at the instance of Dhariwal and Joshi.