1999 Mumbai dacoity plan: Chhota Shakeel gangman acquitted
Mumbai city news: 4 men were arrested in the case. Two are absconding after receiving bail and 2 have been acquittedmumbai Updated: Jun 27, 2017 00:09 IST
An alleged member of Chhota Shakeel gang, arrested 18 years ago for allegedly planning several dacoities, was acquitted by the sessions court last week. The court pronounced him not guilty after the prosecution failed to bring the seized weapons and independent witnesses to court.
The police had arrested four men — Javed Shaik, Naushad Sayyed, Ismail alias Butler Shaikh and Ashok Das — on May 12, 1999. However, of the four — Javed and Naushad — are absconding after they were released on bail. Ismail too had attempted that but was arrested again in 2000. The trial against him started in 2001 and he was acquitted last week. Meanwhile, Ashok, who had remained present, was acquitted for lack of evidence in 2006.
At the time of arrest, the police had seized a sword and dagger from them too. When the case came up for trial, the sessions judge KD Shirbhate observed that the Mumbai crime branch had failed to bring independent witnesses and the seized weapons in court.
The prosecution had examined four police officials, who were part of the raid, as their witnesses. The prosecution had said that the four men with few others had gathered outside ATI Compound, Bunter Bhavan, Kurla and that’s when the police got the information that members of Chhota Shakeel gang had gathered there to plan dacoities at several places. The police raided the place and arrested them with weapons, said the prosecution. It added that the fifth man managed to flee the spot.
“The police arrested only four accused and had no record of the fifth man. Also, the seized weapons have not been produced in court. Since the prosecution has not produced any corroborative witness in court, it is difficult to accept what its four witnesses say. Under such circumstances, the court has no hesitation to come to the conclusion that the prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt,” said the court.