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Hostile witnesses, lack of evidence led to acquittal of Dawood Ibrahim’s brother Iqbal Kaskar

Jun 16, 2024 07:44 AM IST

The Thane police had booked Kaskar in three different cases in 2016 and 2017. In this case, Kaskar and some of his accomplices were accused of threatening city builder Radheshyam Agarwal and trying to extort money from him

MUMBAI: A special court designated under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) in Thane acquitted Iqbal Kaskar, younger brother of fugitive underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, on Wednesday in an extortion case registered in 2017 by the Thane police.

Mumbai, India - June 8, 2019: Police officials brought Iqbal Kaskar brother of Dawwood Ibrahim to St George hospital for tests, in Mumbai, India, on Saturday, 08 June, 2019. (Photo by Bhushan Koyande/HT) (HT PHOTO)

Special court judge Amit M Shete held that the prosecution failed to substantiate charges against 63-year-old Keskar, as all three independent witnesses against him, including the complainant – a city builder, turned hostile.

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The Thane police had booked Kaskar in three different cases in 2016 and 2017. In this case, Kaskar and some of his accomplices were accused of threatening city builder Radheshyam Agarwal and trying to extort money from him.

According to the prosecution, in 2007/08, the builder had purchased two properties – one at Peddar Road and the other in an extended suburb on the western line from one Tony Levis and had purportedly paid him 3 crore in advance.

However, as disputes arose over the transactions and the complainant through his partner got in touch with one Rajuram Purohit. Purohit called the builder to his office to discuss the issue and when the complainant reached there, two other persons – Rommel Vaaz and Vicky Mali were already present there.

Two days later, Mali called all of them to Tembhi Naka in Thane to resolve the issue. When they were discussing the issue, Mali received a call from Iqbal Kaskar, who first inquired about Agarwal and later spoke to the builder. Kaskar then allegedly threatened the complainant and told him to forget the advance amounts paid by him, claiming that his brothers – Dawood Ibrahim and Anis Ibrahim had purchased the properties. Kaskar also told him to visit his office for further instructions.

Agarwal claimed that between March 2012 and May 2013, he received several threatening calls from Indian as well as foreign numbers, threatening to eliminate him if he continued to pursue his rights in the properties he sought to purchase.

He said later he came across Sale Deeds showing that the two properties were purchased by two frontmen of the gangsters and eventually on October 3, 2017, the builder approached the Thane Nagar police station in Thane where an offence was registered against Kaskar and others for extortion. Later, the police also invoked stringent provisions of the MCOCA to the case.

Though some other persons were also shown as accused in the case, the 63-year-old “scrap dealer” was the only person to be arrested and prosecuted in the case.

At trial, all three independent witnesses – Vaaz, Agarwal and Purohit turned hostile and refused to support the prosecution case. Besides, the special MCOCA court also found loopholes in the prosecution story about the land deals.

“There is no material on record in support of the transactions,” said the court. The court also noted that the revenue documents revealed that the properties were owned and possessed by some other individuals and not by Tony Levis.

“There is absolutely no material on record to show that the accused and/or the gangsters were instrumental in acquiring the properties,” said the court. “That apart, there is no material either in the form of call records or any material showing that the accused had called the informant to pressurise and extract ransom from them,” the court added.

In yet another case registered in Thane, the Thane sessions court had in September 2022 acquitted Kaskar and two others of the charge of extorting 400 grams of gold from a local jeweller, as the prime witness – the jeweller himself turned hostile and did not support the prosecution case. Kaskar faces one more case registered in Thane and another case in Mumbai.

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