A special court designated under the Maharashtra Control of Organized Crime Act (MCOCA) on 26 March accepted a closure report filed by the CBI in a 2005 extortion case against former underworld don Chhota Rajan stating that there was no sufficient material to proceed against him.
The central agency’s investigation officer of the case had approached the court with the closure report stating that during a further investigation after the case was taken over by the CBI, no convincing, trustworthy, and prosecutable evidence had emerged against Rajan and others. The identity of the other accused also could not be established the report stated.
As per the complaint of one Kamal Jain, on 31 May 2005, a man Farid Tanashah had threatened him, saying he is the man of Vicky Malhotra, and demanded money from him as he was into construction business in Ghatkopar. The next day, Malhotra threatened him that he had received instructions from Chhota Rajan to collect Rs. 1 crore from Jain, or he would be killed. Thereafter also the extortion had continued numerous times on phone. Jain had then approached the DB Marg police station.
Special judge AT Wankhede said in his order that in the trial against six accused persons, they were acquitted in 2010 under the MCOCA and convicted for extortion and common intention under the IPC. “On perusal of the chargesheet no direct involvement of the accused (Rajan) has emerged,” it said and added that rather it shows that Malhotra threatened the informant in the name of Rajan. It also mentioned that a confessional statement of one accused had been recorded, but he too had not said that the crime was committed at the instance of Rajan. Further, it noted that no witness had named him or said that he had received a call from Rajan to extort. “Prima facie there is no evidence to establish that the accused Chhota Rajan conspired with other accused and committed the offence of extortion,” the court said while accepting the closure report of the agency.