The Nagpur Bench of Bombay High Court has upheld the acquittal of gangster Santosh Ambekar in Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act, 1999 (MCOCA) case. Ambekar along with his and his aides Nilesh Kedar and Mahendra Bhure were acquitted by the special judge (MCOCA) under Sections 307, 120-B of IPC and section 3 of MCOCA.
The State has challenged Ambekar’s acquittal in the high court. On Tuesday, the division bench of Bombay High Court comprising Justices PN Deshmukh and Swapna Joshi upheld the order passed by the Special Judge of MCOCA, Nagpur thereby acquitting Ambekar and his aides
According to the prosecution Santosh Ambekar was facing prosecution under MCOCA before the Special Court, Nagpur and the injured Ramnik bhai Parekh was one of the witnesses in the said case. In order to prevent Ramnikbhai Parekh from deposing in the trial, Santosh Ambekar, while in jail, hatched conspiracy with one Vinod Chamat who too was lodged in Nagpur prison in connection with another case. Vinod Chamat after being released from jail, gave contract to one Binu Sharma and Mahendra Bhure to kill Ramnikbhai. On July 6, 2002, when Ramnikbhai Parekh was proceeding in Maruti van along with his sons Kamlesh and Bharat, near Kasturchand Park, Binu Sharma fired upon Ramnikbhai Parekh. In the firing, Ramnikbhai and his sons had sustained injuries. On his complaint, offence under section 307 r/w 34 of IPC was registered against unknown persons by Sitabuldi Police Station.
During the course of investigation, the police had unearthed the conspiracy and arrested Santosh Ambekar and his nephew Nilesh Kedar, Binu Sharma, Mahendra Bhure. Vinod Chamat was absconding. To prove charges, the prosecution had examined 15 witnesses. The trial court after appreciating the evidence had acquitted all the accused by observing that their involvement was not proved beyond doubt.
The State had challenged the acquittal. While arguing for respondents accused, Advocate RK Tiwari argued that there was no iota of evidence against the accused persons. The prosecution could not prove that Santosh had hatched conspiracy to kill Ramnikbhai Parekh and in pursuance to the said conspiracy, Binu Sharma had fired upon Ramnikbhai Parekh. The evidence brought on record was innocuous to prove the guilt of the accused and therefore no fault can be found with the order of trail court. Accepting the submissions of defense counsel, the High Court dismissed the appeal of the State. RK Tiwari Advocate represented the accused while State was represented by assistant public prosecutor Deshmukh.