CBI court refuses to call Mukesh Ambani as witness in 1989 Wadia murder attempt case

In the plea seeking a further probe, accused Ivan Sequeira had sought that Mukesh Ambani be made an accused in the case and alleged that he was being shielded by the agency.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 12:39 AM IST
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CBI court refuses to call Mukesh Ambani as witness in 1989 Wadia murder attempt case | File photo

A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court has rejected an application of an accused in a 1989 case of conspiracy towards the murder of industrialist Nusli Wadia. It has also rejected another plea by him that sought a further investigation into the case. 

In the plea seeking a further probe, accused Ivan Sequeira had sought that Mukesh Ambani be made an accused in the case and alleged that he was being shielded by the agency. Ambani, he alleged, was the “mastermind and co-conspirator” in the offence. A detailed order is yet to be made available. 

RIL's Kirti Ambani, the prime accused

The prime accused in the case, now deceased, is Kirti Ambani. He was a senior executive at Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) and reported to Mukesh Ambani directly. The court had charged him, Arjun Babaria, Sequeira and Ramesh Jagothia with criminal conspiracy in 1988-89 to murder Wadia, who was the chairman of Bombay Dyeing then. Only Sequeira and another accused face trial - the others have died.

Mukesh Ambani had given statement to CBI in 1990

Mukesh Ambani had given a statement to the CBI in 1990 in which he had said that he had learnt about Kirti Ambani’s involvement in the case only after he was arrested. In June 2016, Wadia had testified before the court and said that he did not know Kirti Ambani, but was informed he worked for RIL. On being asked further, he had said he did not know any reason why Kirti Ambani would conspire other than the fact that he worked for Reliance which was managed by Dhirubhai Ambani and his sons. 

Sequeira’s plea had said that if Wadia’s testimony of 2016 is linked with Ambani’s statement to the CBI in 1990, it can be concluded that his co-accused Kirti Ambani had acted on the industrialist’s directions to attempt to murder Wadia.

The CBI had opposed his pleas and said in its response that an accused has no right to call a prosecution witness for cross-examination. It had further said that he has no right to seek reinvestigation at this stage.

As per the CBI’s case, the plan was to intercept the car of Wadia when he returns from his office to his residence at Prabhadevi and murder him. Sequeira was allegedly shown the photograph of Wadia and was paid a huge sum of money for the commission of the offence. However, the plan never materialised and two of the accused were arrested by the CID in 1989. 

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