Sessions court refuses to discharge gangster Arun Gawli’s wife

Published on Sep 10, 2022 07:12 PM IST

After settlement with the employers, ABKS was paid ₹4 crore which was to be distributed amongst the employees. However, when the employees did not get their dues, a case was filed with the Mumbai police against ABKS and ABS on December 2, 2006

Underworld gangster and former MLA Arun Gawli comes out of central jail in Nagpur after he was granted 15-days parole by jail authorities for his son's wedding. (Photo credit: Sunny Shende)
Underworld gangster and former MLA Arun Gawli comes out of central jail in Nagpur after he was granted 15-days parole by jail authorities for his son's wedding. (Photo credit: Sunny Shende)

Mumbai: The sessions court has refused to discharge Asha Gawli, wife of gangster Arun Gawli, from a case registered in 2006 for alleged misappropriation of funds to the tune of 1.77 crore meant for the employees of Globe Auto Electricals.

The case pertained to the dispute between Globe Auto Electricals and its 469 employees who lost their jobs when the company closed down in 1981. Akhil Bharatiya Kamgar Sena (ABKS), the trade union wing of Gawli’s Akhil Bharatiya Sena (ABS), was given the power of attorney to fight the case on behalf of these employees.

After settlement with the employers, ABKS was paid 4 crore which was to be distributed amongst the employees. However, when the employees did not get their dues, a case was filed with the Mumbai police against ABKS and ABS on December 2, 2006.

It was alleged that ABS president Arun Gawali, vice president Asha Gawali treasurer Sunil Kalekar, and Vijay Gawali, a trustee of Shiv Shambho Narayan Trust, pursuant to a criminal conspiracy misappropriated an amount of 1.77 crore out of the amounts which were supposed to be distributed to Globe Auto Electricals employees.

Asha, an accused in the case, had sought discharge claiming that the dispute was of civil nature and also the complainants had already withdrawn the complaint. She claimed that the material relied on by the prosecution indicated that the employees who approached Arun Gawli for help themselves voluntarily agreed for deductions towards expenses to be incurred, including for the litigation, from out of the amounts whatsoever to be recovered from the Company.”

She further claimed that being an office bearer of the organisation concerned by itself cannot be grounds for presuming that she was a member of the criminal conspiracy.

The magistrate court had rejected her discharge plea, following which Asha had approached the sessions court. The Economic Offence Wing of the Mumbai police which probed the case had opposed the plea.

The sessions court refused to discharge her, observing that “evidence on record indicates that 150 bearer cheques were prepared in favour of different persons. Those cheques were signed by accused No.1 Arun Gawali, and accused No.2 Asha Gawali thereby those cheques were encashed through employees of Akhil Bhartiya Sena and the said amount withdrawn from the Bank is given to accused No.1. When it was required to be distributed among the employees of M/s. Globe Auto Electricals Ltd.”

“This factum indicates that accused No.2 is privy to the conspiracy as she is a signatory to those cheques along with accused No.1 and the amount cited in the cheque is syphoned off without the purpose for which it is expected to be used. This factum itself is sufficient to infer that a case for framing of charge exists against accused No.2 Asha Gawali,” the court said while refusing to discharge her.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    Charul Shah is senior reporter covering the legal beat for Hindustan Times. She has spent over a decade in the industry covering criminal investigations and judiciary from Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Bengaluru.

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