2015 Malvani Hooch Tragedy: 'Convicts Committed Offence With Planning', Says Court In Detailed Verdict

2015 Malvani Hooch Tragedy: 'Convicts Committed Offence With Planning', Says Court In Detailed Verdict

The court pointed out that it held the men guilty of culpable homicide and not murder because they had no intention to kill the victims.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Saturday, May 18, 2024, 10:05 PM IST
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2015 Malvani Hooch Tragedy: 'Convicts Committed Offence With Planning', Says Sessions Court In Detailed Verdict | Representational Image

Mumbai: In the 2015 Malvani hooch tragedy, the four convicts – who were recently awarded ten years imprisonment – committed the offence, which claimed 106 lives, with due deliberation and planning, said the sessions court in its detailed verdict. However, the court pointed out that it held the men guilty of culpable homicide and not murder because they had no intention to kill the victims.

On April 29, sessions judge Dr SD Tawshikar convicted Raju Tapkar, 59, Donald Patel, 49, Francis D’mello, 54, and Mansoor Khan, 34, out of the total 14 accused. Apart from the dead victims, 75 others suffered severe disabilities like loss of eyesight.

Explaining why it didn't hold the quartet guilty of murder, the court reasoned that it was just that their formula of mixing methyl alcohol with illicit liquor went wrong, leading to the tragedy. “Therefore, from this flow of events, it is difficult to assume that the accused were having any intention to kill anyone or having such a grave knowledge that the mixing of methyl alcohol with illicit liquor, in all probability, would cause death without any excuse of incurring said risk,” said the court.

Special prosecutor Pradeep Gharat pleaded that the quartet had knowledge that mixing methyl alcohol with liquor can be dangerous, they still continued to mix and sell spurious liquor. The court, however, didn't accept the arguments.

“It can be seen that Mansoor was in the habit of procuring chemical i.e. methyl alcohol from some sources in Gujarat. He used to provide such chemicals to the illicit liquor vendors at Malvani, who would further mix it with illicit liquor and serve it to its consumers,” read the order.

It appears that this activity was continued for considerable time before the present tragedy took place, the order added, alluding that the men didn't kill the victims on purpose. Besides, the court also noted that those who got timely treatment were saved but “delay in approaching hospitals also contributed to the rising number of deaths”.

The convicts, who were in prison since their arrest in 2015, pleaded that they be awarded the imprisonment corresponding to the period they have already undergone, and be released forthwith. The court, however, refused to show leniency and sentenced them the maximum period of ten years set out for the offence. Lessor punishment or leniency in such offences would amount to scaling the wounds of victims and their families.

Evidence adduced on record has revealed long-standing indulgence of the accused in illicit liquor business, it underscored. “Many innocent persons have lost their lives, many others have suffered different injuries, owing to consumption of poisonous illicit liquor. Families of victims got severely affected due to the untimely death of an earning member of their family,” said the order

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