Mumbai: With Latest Acquittal, 'Gangster' Kumar Pillai Free Of All Charges

Mumbai: With Latest Acquittal, 'Gangster' Kumar Pillai Free Of All Charges

This was the last pending case against Pillai for which he was extradited from Singapore to India in June 2016.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Wednesday, March 20, 2024, 11:50 PM IST
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Mumbai: With Latest Acquittal, 'Gangster' Kumar Pillai Free Of All Charges | PTI

The sessions court on Wednesday acquitted gangster Kumar Pillai in the 2009 case of shootout at the office of Lodha Group. This was the last pending case against Pillai for which he was extradited from Singapore to India in June 2016.

Pillai’s lawyer Raunak Naik said his client has not been arrested or prosecuted for any other case, and he is now free from all criminal cases.

As per the prosecution case, lodged by the watchman of the office of Lodha Builders at Kanjurmarg, on November 10, 2009, when he was on duty, a man fired at the front elevator. The watchman said since he was bent down he was saved. The shooter after firing ran away leaving behind a chit with Pillai’s number.

The prosecution had claimed that a day earlier, a similar incident was reported at the office of builder Ramesh Shah, but somehow the bullet got stuck in the gun. This time too the shooter left behind a chit with Pillai’s number.

After the incident, police arrested five accused, namely: Sanjit Krishna Shetty alias Lafda Shetty, Mahesh Kalingan, Umesh Pujari, Santosh Shinde, Vinod Ghogale. All the five were also acquitted by the sessions court in July 2013. The court had then said that the prosecution had failed to prove role of the accused in firing and also in the conspiracy.

Even now, while acquitting Pillai the defence had argued that the prosecution had failed to establish the connection between the incident and Pillai. The court has found that there was no evidence to link Pillai with the case.

Pillai fled the country in 1990 after jumping bail. He was extradited from Singapore in June 2016.

One of the cases for which Pillai was extradited was an extortion attempt on a Vikhroli-based builder. It was alleged that Pillai, while he was abroad, had called the complainant and brother of a former MNS MLA on July 11, 2013. The prosecution alleged that Pillai had demanded Rs75 lakh to continue the redevelopment project in Vikhroli. In the said case too, Pillai has been acquitted.

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