Mumbai: A special MCOCA court has acquitted
Tarun Shah, secretary of diamond merchant Bharat Shah, accused
of conniving with gangster Chhota Shakeel to target film
personalities for extortion.
Tarun was booked under the stringent provisions of MCOCA
and for conspiracy and extortion under the IPC, along with
Bharat Shah, producer Nazim Rizvi and assistant producer Abdul
According to the prosecution, all the accused had
pressurised actor Salman Khan to reduce his fees for the movie
`Chori Chori Chupke Chupke` (2001), which was allegedly
financed by the underworld.
Tarun was a hawala operator, who used to collect
extortion money from Bharat Shah`s office and send it to
Chhota Shakeel, the prosecution further alleged.
In the first leg of the trial, in 2003, the court had
convicted Rizvi and Allahbaksh under MCOCA. Bharat Shah was
however acquitted under MCOCA charges and was convicted under
IPC for deliberately concealing information from the police
and was sentenced to a year imprisonment that was set off.
Tarun, who was absconding at that time, had surrendered
before the court after Bharat was acquitted.
"Tarun was made an accused in the case on the basis of an
alleged conversation between Rizvi and Chhota Shakeel in which
Tarun`s name had cropped up. However, the court today observed
that there is no material evidence against him," his lawyer
Shirkant Shivade told PTI.