Arun Gawli and the 11 others convicted of murdering Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar have been imposed with a hefty fine of Rs1.5 crore.
The special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Friday ordered that 40% of the amount should be paid to Jamsandekar’s widow, Komal, failing which the convicts would face additional jail term of varying period.
Gawli and his associates were convicted for running an organised crime syndicate, murder, and conspiracy.
While pronouncing the sentence, special MCOCA court judge Prithviraj Chavan said, “Instead of death I am giving you life sentence.”
Chavan also awarded Gawli 10 years imprisonment for being part of an organised crime syndicate under MCOCA and extortion. All sentences will run concurrently.
Gawli’s conviction holds considerable importance for the Mumbai police that have been combating the mafia menace for nearly four decades.
There are 49 previous instances, including a case under the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) (Tada) Act, where Gawli has been charged in the past. But he was acquitted or discharged in almost all cases because of lack of evidence.
After successfully getting the gangster-turned-politician’s conviction, the Mumbai crime branch now plans to incorporate the investigation in its training manuals.
“It is an important judgement for the society, police and Mumbaiites in general. Gawli’s imprisonment sends a strong message, which reinforces that the law has prevailed,” said
Himanshu Roy, joint commissioner of police, crime.
Roy said the crime branch would study the judgement and train others to ensure that more criminals can be convicted in the future.
According to police, Rs30 lakh contract for Jamsandekar's killing was given to Gawli's gang by his rivals. During the arguments on quantum of sentence, Gawli had disputed prosecution's claim that he had killed the Sena corporator for a “paltry” sum.
‘We have waited five years for this verdict’
Mumbai: Komal, 43, the widow slain Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar is happy that ‘justice has finally prevailed.’
“For the past five years, we have been waiting relentlessly for this day. We are glad that justice and the truth have prevailed and that the perpetrators [of the crime] have been brought to justice,” said Komal.
“I know that my husband will not return. I know that my children will never get their father back. But I think the efforts of all the people involved — from the police, lawyer, party workers to our family and friends — have paid off,” she added.
Komal expressed faith in the police and the Indian judiciary, and said she would weigh her options about pursuing the matter for stronger action against Gawli.
“We will speak to the police and see if they want to appeal for stricter action. As of now, we are happy with the judgement and that my husband’s murderers have been punished,” she said.
When asked about the compensation ordered by the special MCOCA court to the family, Komal said, “It is the court’s decision. We are just happy about the verdict.”
Will challenge court order, says daughter
Mumbai: Arun Gawli will challenge the court’s decision to convict him for the murder of Shiv Sena corporator Kamlakar Jamsandekar.
On Friday, Gawli’s daughter Geeta termed the judgement as ‘bad in law’ and said they would appeal before the Bombay high court, and challenge the order.
Geeta, along with other family members, was present at court on Friday. “I just spoke to my father, and we are challenging the order. My father has not done anything. But we have not lost faith in the judicial system. We will approach the higher courts,” she said.
Apart from Gawli, other accused will also move the Bombay high court. Advocate Sudeep Pasbola, who defended Gawli and some of the other accused, submitted before the trial court that the other accused intend to challenge the order.
Advocate Nitin Sejpal, who represented another accused, said, “We are yet to see the copy of the judgement, but we too will challenge the order.”
On Tuesday, Pasbola had challenge the prosecution’s charges of Gawli running an organised crime syndicate, and of being the leader of an underworld gang.