Lapses by crime branch, not lack of proof, led to acquittal of ‘diesel don’

  • Charul Shah, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Apr 18, 2015 00:29 IST

Lapses by the Mumbai crime branch and not lack of evidence led to the acquittal of alleged oil mafia don Mohammed Ali, in the murder case of his rival Chand Madar, revealed the judgment copy released by a special MCOCA court recently.

Wrong call detail record (CDR), false evidence and witnesses not supporting the prosecution’s case are some of the reasons leading to the acquittal, said the judgment order, which Hindustan Times has accessed.

The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crimes Act (MCOCA) court had, on March 20, acquitted Ali, known as ‘diesel don’, and seven others booked in the murder case, as the evidence produced by the prosecution failed to prove them guilty.

“There is absolutely no evidence before the court to even suspect that the accused conspired to eliminate Chand Madar,” observed special judge AL Pansare, in the judgment.

The judgment, which runs into 50 pages, highlights the glaring lapses in the investigation by crime branch officers, owing to which the prosecution case collapsed in the court.
Madar was shot opposite Manama Hotel, near the General Post Office, south Mumbai, around 3.10pm on September 15, 2010.

The prosecution had relied heavily on the statement of Madar’s driver, who claimed he had seen one of the accused, Shahid Jinnat Shah, after he shot Madar. The driver also claimed he saw a pistol in Shah’s hand. However during the examination, he could not identify the pistol. The court held that he could not have seen the assailants as they immediately fled the spot.

Moreover, the prosecution had banked on the CDR of the mobile phones they had seized from the two accused -- Mohammed Sagir Ahmed Riyasat, alleged to have accompanied the assailants and Akhtar Shaikh, an associate of Ali. The prosecution claimed the CDR revealed the accused were in contact with each other.

However, the defence had proved that the IMEI numbers (which act as the unique identity of a device) of the mobile seized and the ones mentioned in the CDR were different.

False evidence

The police had seized two empty cartridges from the spot of the crime. They had got two witnesses from the area
to sign the envelope in which the evidence was sealed. However, the defence proved that one of the witnesses
was lying about the signature and that it was not his. The court, doubting the procedure of the seizure, said:
“Not only lapses in the investigation, but false evidence of the witnesses have destroyed the case”.

Rivalry theory refuted

The Mumbai crime branch had alleged Ali and Madar were rivals, as both were involved in smuggling diesel from the high seas and illegal scrap material in the dock area. The prosecution had said Madar had confessed to his son that Ali was plotting to kill him.

However, the deposition of Madar’s son disputed the prosecution case. He told the court that Ali and his father were friends. He also said Madar has attended a religious function hosted by Ali in May.

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