Gangster Obedullah Abdul Rashid Radiowala, also known as Obed Radiowala, who was deported from the US in April 2019, has been denied a discharge by the special MCOCA court. This decision comes in relation to his alleged involvement in the 2014 shootings targeting film-maker Mahesh Bhatt, with the court citing his provision of funds to the gang.
In November 2014, the Motor Vehicle Anti Theft Cell received information that gangster Ravi Pujari had issued a contract to his associate, Ishrat Badshah Khan, and other associates to carry out the shooting and assassination of film producer Mahesh Bhatt. Acting on this information, the police apprehended nine accused at 9 pm in Khar. The accused individuals caught at the scene were subsequently convicted by the special court.
The special public prosecutor, Pradeep Gharat, asserted that Radiowala had not only provided funds to his associates but had also supplied pistols and live cartridges to aid in the conspiracy's execution. Gharat explained to the court, "This accused was residing in the USA and, through his brother, provided funds to the other associates to advance the conspiracy's objectives."
In response, the defense lawyer, Mahendra Manerkar, contended that the special court had previously rejected the prosecution's request for Radiowala's police custody due to the lack of prima facie evidence against him. Additionally, he argued that the accused had already been convicted for their involvement with the gang but were acquitted of other charges.
Nonetheless, the court took into account a statement provided by a prosecution witness, who was a friend of Radiowala. The court observed, "This applicant / accused was intending to create terror in Cine Producers, with an objective to get pecuniary gains, therefore he alongwith wanted accused and other associates hatched conspiracy to kill Film Producer and so as to execute said plan and achieve the object he provided funds to the gang headed by Ravi Pujari."
"The allegations against this accused clearly demonstrate that with an intention to achieve the objective, he had hatched conspiracy along with gang-leader Ravi Pujari and his other associates so as to eliminate Film Producer Mahesh Bhatt. He had provided funds to the gang. Already, the co-accused have been convicted. Hence, this Court is of the view that it can not be said that there is no prima-facie material to proceed against this applicant accused," the court stated, thereby rejecting Radiowala's request for discharge.