Chhota Rajan Conviction: Court Relied On Hotelier’s Repeated Warnings

Chhota Rajan Conviction: Court Relied On Hotelier’s Repeated Warnings

The special court has relied heavily on letters written by Shetty to police before he was killed, ever since he started receiving calls from gangster Hemant Pujari.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Saturday, June 01, 2024, 01:10 AM IST
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Underworld don and convict Chhota Rajan | APF

Mumbai: The Special MCOCA court while convicting underworld gangster Chhota Rajan for killing hotelier Jaya Shetty, has said that Shetty had written to police about the possibility of an attack from Rajan’s gang so many times. On May 4, 2001, assailants entered the Golden Crown and shot the owner Shetty at his office on the first floor as he failed to pay ransom money of Rs 50 lakh to Rajan.

The special court has relied heavily on letters written by Shetty to police before he was killed, ever since he started receiving calls from gangster Hemant Pujari. The court said his expressions and apprehensions were not general.

“Just after the last complaint on April 14, 2001, Shetty was killed on May 4, 2001,” the court noted adding that it was not single complaint.

The court further said, “The deceased and his son have given many complaints to the Police. He was repeatedly addressing his anxiety to the police as to danger to him and his family. How much he could have done then. Therefore, it cannot be said that the expressions by the deceased were general of nature.”

The court held, “As a gang leader, Rajan made conspiracy with the co-accused and killed Shetty because of non-payment of extortion amount.”

The court further said prosecution has proved the case against the accused based on testimony of sons of Shetty – Mohan and Manohar – and complaints lodged to the police before the incident.”

The defence had objected on relaying on these letters as the prosecution could not submit original copies of these letters. The court held that these letters are corroborated by Shetty’s son Mohan.

“This is the criminal case. It was the duty of the Investigating officer to take care of filing either original copies or office copies of those along with charge sheet. Mere lapses of the investigating officer can not throw away the important piece of evidence when the witness himself identified those letters, signatures thereon, contents of the letters and endorsement of the police as to receipt of those letters,” the court said.

It further noted, “The most important factor is that there is proximity in filing those complaints and the date of murder of Shetty. The last complaint is on April 14, 2001 and date of murder is May 4, 2001. Therefore, the above letters are most crucial evidence in this case and prosecution corroborates by way of oral testimony of the Mohan and Manohar.”

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