The Supreme Court Tuesday reserved its verdict on the Maharashtra government’s plea against a Bombay High Court judgment striking down a criminal complaint against underworld don-turned-politician Arun Gawali.
The high court had struck down the complaint against Gawali on the ground that there was insufficient material that would lead to the conviction of the accused.
An apex court bench of Justice P. Sathasivam and Justice B.S. Chauhan said that there was no verdict of the Supreme Court sustaining the striking down of a criminal complaint at the stage of investigation on the ground that there was insufficient material that would result in the conviction of the accused.
“You are concerned with the fate of your client. We are struggling with the question of law,” Justice Sathasivam told counsel Makarand D. Adkar representing Gawali.
The court told Adkar that he should sustain the verdict of the high court by the earlier judgments of the apex court otherwise the position taken by the high court will have to be corrected.
“What is this law that the high court is laying. We have to rectify this judgment,” said Justice Chauhan.
He said that if this high court order was allowed then it will created a situation in which case diaries of cases will be called and complaints will be quashed.
According to the police complaint in the case, Mohd. Shakil Qureshi and C.A. Rajendra Doshi jointly purchased Pritam International Hotel for Rs.1.50 crore. For Qureshi, it turned out to be a bad business deal and he wanted to offload his shares but found no takers.
Subsequently in July 2005, Qureshi approached Gawali who brokered a deal between Qureshi and Doshi.
Qureshi sold his stakes for Rs.55 lakh. Gawali allegedly took Rs.15 lakh for his Shivsambhu Trust from Qureshi and another Rs.3 lakh were paid to his associates. Similarly, Rs.10 lakh and Rs.5 lakh were paid by Doshi.
In September 2005, Doshi lodged a complaint with police in November 2005. Qureshi lodged a complaint against Gawali’s gang.
This resulted in proceedings involving police and courts. Eventually, Gawali and his associates succeeding in getting off the hook following the high court’s verdict quashing the criminal complaint.