Seven persons, arrested in connection with the murder of a person outside the Sewri sessions court in 2006, were acquitted for lack of evidence on Monday by the special MCOCA court.
According to the prosecution, two persons had killed a reformed robber Krishna Devindra, 32, on June 29, 2006, when he had come to the court for a hearing with a co-accused TB Raja alias Marimuttu Devindra.
Devindra, formerly associated with gangster DK Rao, was shot at close quarters at the entrance of the 80-year-old BDD chawl outside the court premises.
Later, a first information report was lodged at RAK Marg police station with Raja as the complainant. The police had said that Devindra had 11 cases of robbery against him and was out on bail.
They initially picked up two persons saying they were the alleged shooters. Three more persons were later arrested who allegedly hatched the conspiracy.
The stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) was invoked in the case.
During investigation, however, the police had realised that Raja was also an accused in the case as he had pointed out Devindra to the shooters. Raja was arrested almost a year after the incident.
“The police had said Devindra was foraying into cable business which was not liked by accused Naresh Singh Thakur and his wife Meenakshi — both accused in the case,” said defence lawyer Sushan Kunjuraman.
The police arrested seven accused – Killasingh Puransingh Rajput alias Vakil, Ganesh Ambore alias Kaalia Sheker who was allegedly the shooter, Suber Devindraa, Meenakshi Thakur, Naresh, Imran Qureshi and TB Raja alias Marimuttu Devindra.
Advocate Sameer Pradhan said the four witnesses, including an advocate, had turned hostile. Three persons including a shooter are still absconding.