Gulshan Kumar murder case: Bombay HC upholds Dawood aide's conviction
The Bombay High Court on Thursday upheld a 2002 trial court verdict convicting Abdul Rauf Merchant, an aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim, for the murder of T-Series founder Gulshan Kumar nearly 24 years ago in 1997. The HC also upheld the life imprisonment sentence awarded to Merchant in 2002 and clarified he won't be entitled to any remission in his prison term. Here's more.
A total of four appeals listed in Bombay HC
To note, four appeals in connection with Kumar's murder case have been listed in the Bombay HC on Thursday. While three of the appeals made were against the conviction of the accused Merchant, Rakesh Chanchaya Pinnam, and Rakesh Khaokar, the fourth one was filed by the Maharashtra Government against the acquittal of Bollywood producer and Tips Industries co-founder, Ramesh Taurani, in the case.
The HC, however, partly allowed Merchant's appeal
Upholding Merchant's life sentence, a bench of Justices Sadhana S Jadhav and NR Borkar, however, partly allowed his appeal and acquitted him of charges under IPC Sections 392 and 397 for robbery and dacoity with an attempt to cause death or grievous hurt. But in its order, the bench noted that Merchant is convicted under IPC Section 120B (party to a criminal conspiracy).
Merchant doesn't deserve any leniency: Bombay HC
Clarifying that Merchant isn't entitled to any remission, the bench noted, "He has criminal antecedents and continued in similar activities thereafter. In the interest of justice and society at large, appellant doesn't deserve any leniency." Meanwhile, the high court also dismissed the Maharashtra Government's appeal against the acquittal of Taurani, who was earlier acquitted of the charges of abetment to murder.
Kumar was shot dead outside a temple in 1997
To recall, Kumar was shot dead by three assailants while he was coming out of a temple at Jeet Nagar in Mumbai's Juhu area on August 12, 1997. He had reportedly been getting extortion and threat calls from Dawood's close aide Abu Salem for quite some time before he was killed, but the music mogul refused to pay any money.
Mumbai Police named 26 accused persons in this case
The Mumbai Police filed a 400-page charge sheet naming 26 accused in this case. Merchant, who absconded after Kumar's murder, was arrested in 2001 and awarded life imprisonment in 2002. Music composer Nadeem Akhtar Saifee—who fled to the UK—was also reportedly one of the conspirators. In October 1997, Taurani was arrested for paying Rs. 25 lakh to the murderers but was acquitted in 2002.