High Court grants interim bail to drug lord, wife for daughter’s wedding

The Delhi High Court today granted interim bail to an alleged drug lord Sharafat Sheikh and his wife Zohra Sheikh, jailed since June 2006 on charges of being part of an organised crime syndicate, for attending wedding of their daughter.

Justice A K Pathak granted them the relief for two weeks, considering that their presence would be required at their daughter’s marriage.

Zohra and Sharafat, facing trial under the stringent Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), had said in their bail plea that they have been in custody for last several years and their daughter is getting married on April 25 at Hazrat Nizamuddin area and, accordingly, sought three weeks’ interim bail to participate in the wedding.

Their plea, however, was opposed by prosecutor Amit Chadha, who, appearing for the Delhi Police, said it was an inter-religion marriage and threats were being given to the young couple by both the families.

Zohra had earlier also moved the court over non-payment of maintenance by the Delhi government to their two minor children. She had sought compliance of the court’s 2009 order to pay for the welfare of the children.

According to the prosecution, a secret information was received on July 7, 2005 that Sharafat, suspected to have been trading in narcotics with his gang members in Delhi on a large scale, was to come to his residence.

Sharafat was subsequently caught in a raid, based on this tip off. He was also found in possession of a loaded pistol and a 500 gram of ‘heroin or smack,’ the police had said.

As Sharafat was alleged to be the chief of a crime syndicate and was amassing wealth through illegal trade of narcotics, the MCOCA provisions were invoked.

Later, sanction was granted by an additional commissioner of police for prosecution of Sharafat and other accused — Mohd Saleem, Sheikh Hannan, and Najma Sheikh (first wife of Sharafat) and subsequently, the first charge sheet was filed in the case on December 10, 2005.

During the investigation, the prosecution had also sought sanction against Zohra for allegedly possessing unaccountable wealth on behalf of the members of an organised crime syndicate in violation of the section 4 for of the MCOCA and a supplementary charge sheet was filed against her on September 8, 2006.

She was arrested on June 12, 2006 and had been in jail since then.

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