Gangster Ejaz Lakdawala questions his transfer from Taloja to Arthur Road jail | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times

Gangster Ejaz Lakdawala questions his transfer from Taloja to Arthur Road jail

ByRutuja Gaidhani
May 26, 2024 05:42 AM IST

Gangster Ejaz Lakdawala challenges his transfer to a high-security barrack in Arthur Road jail, citing lack of due process, seeks to be moved back to Taloja prison.

MUMBAI: Gangster Ejaz Lakdawala, formerly associated with gangster Chhota Rajan, filed an application earlier this week before a special court designated under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA). He challenged his transfer from Taloja prison to a high-security barrack in Arthur Road jail, asserting that the transfer was executed without adhering to due process of law, rendering it invalid.

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Lakdawala has several cases registered against him for extortion, attempted murder, and rioting. The MCOCA court earlier this year sentenced Lakdawala to life imprisonment in a 1996 gangland killing, where he was involved in a murder allegedly out of rivalry with fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar.

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In his application, also directed to the Inspector General (Prisons) and Superintendents of Taloja Central Prison and Mumbai Central Prison, Lakdawala characterised the transfer as “ad-hoc and arbitrary”. He cited in his plea that as he was in judicial custody, permission from the sessions court was required before any transfer could take place. However, he stated that he was informed by prison authorities that the sessions judge had granted approval for the transfer. Subsequently, on April 15, 2024, he was transferred without explanation or presentation of any court order, the application highlighted.

“It is pertinent to note that there is no instance of misbehaviour or disciplinary action against the applicant. Hence, this order of transfer is passed in an arbitrary manner without the sanctity or due process of law,” the applicant claimed, calling it contempt of the apex court, and adding that it would be sound to consider his re-shifting to Taloja Prison as he is not a threat to be placed under high security.

Lakdawala maintained that he had not been granted any opportunity to be heard, thus violating the Natural Principle of Law. He prayed for the court to call upon the Superintendents of both prisons to submit relevant documents based on which this transfer was done.

He also requested the court to grant him access to his preparatory defence material, including books, documents, manuals, reports, etc., which, being of a voluminous nature, should be allowed to be moved along with him from Taloja prison to the Mumbai Central Prison if the court considers the transfer fair.

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