'Possibility Of Implicating In False Case': Maharashtra Special Court Acquits Dawood Ibrahim's Nephew And Others In 2019 Extortion Case

'Possibility Of Implicating In False Case': Maharashtra Special Court Acquits Dawood Ibrahim's Nephew And Others In 2019 Extortion Case

The court said the sanction given to invoke the charges of MCOCA was also not valid.

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Tuesday, April 16, 2024, 02:53 AM IST
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Special Court Acquits Dawood Ibrahim's Nephew And Two Other In 2019 Extortion Case | File

The special court for Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), in its detailed order acquitting Dawood Ibrahim’s nephew Rizwan Kaskar and three others in a 2019 extortion case, observed a possibility of implicating the men in a “false case”.

The three accused, Rizwan, Ahmedraja Vadhariya and Ashfaq Towelwala were acquitted by the special MCOCA judge BD Shelke on Friday. The court said that the prosecution had failed to prove the ingredients of the charges of extortion wherein a builder had alleged that Ashfaq owed him Rs25 lakh over trade of electronic goods but was threatened by gangster Fahim Machmach to not ask for the money back and Ahmedraja will settle the amount at his own convenience. It was the prosecution’s case that Ahmedraja, being a resident of Dubai, claimed close contacts with Rizwan, who in turn introduced him to other underworld members. 

Court's Observations On The Investigation Process

The extortion complaint was received on July 15, 2019. The court noted that Sanjay Yashwantrao Vernekar, who was an Assistant Commissioner of Police then, was in-charge of the Anti-Extortion Cell then. With the application, the complainant also submitted a pen drive with the conversation with Machmach. 

The court noted that Vernekar didn’t register the case but an inquiry was conducted. Based on the inquiry, Ahmedraja was caught at the airport on July 15, 2019, and subsequently the case was registered. The court also noted that the recitals of application and complaint were not identical. The court observed, “The inference drawn from these lapses on the part of the investigating agency is that the possibility of implicating the men as an afterthought in such serious offences cannot be ruled out.”

Court Invalidates MCOCA Charges And Finds Lack of Extortion Evidence

The court said the sanction given to invoke the charges of MCOCA was also not valid. Besides, the charges were not proved as per the definition of ‘extortion’. The court said, “The complainant never stated that the threats issued to him were to compel him to deliver the property or payment of extortion money… It appears from evidence that the transaction between (Ashfaq) Towelwala and the complainant was a business transaction to buy electronic and cosmetic items from China… and not under fear of death or fear of grievous hurt.”

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