Court absolves alleged Dawood aide of MCOCA charge

New Delhi: Underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's alleged aide Khalil Ahmed, arrested for threatening a businessman for extortion, has been absolved of charges under stringent law MCOCA by a Delhi court which said the police have failed to prove that he was running an organised crime syndicate.

The court, however, said there was sufficient evidence for Khalil's prosecution for criminal intimidation, extortion and threatening the businessman under the provisions of Indian Penal Code.

Khalil, who was arrested by the Delhi Police in 2009 near India Habitat Centre here on the complaint of Delhi-based businessman Qmar Ahmed, is wanted in 34 criminal cases of extortion, murder, dacoity, kidnapping, assault, intimidation and attempt to murder.

In the instant case, Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Kumar Jain discharged Khalil from charges saying police had failed to prove that he was running a crime syndicate or that he operated as a member or any such syndicate, which was necessary to attract MCOCA (Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act.

"To make a prima-facie case against the accused under MCOCA, first of all the prosecution has to show prima-facie that the accused was either a member of an organised crime syndicate or a gang or was acting on behalf of such a syndicate or a gang.

"Though in the charge sheet it is alleged that the accused was running an organised crime syndicate with the help of his associates, the investigating officer failed to describe that alleged syndicate," the court said.

It also said that in the extortion case, the investigating officer could have easily showed the dossier of earlier co-accused of Khalil to complainant Qmar to ascertain if his earlier companions were the persons who had threatened him on behalf of Khalil and that would have pointed towards a syndicate.

Qamar had alleged that on February 16, 2009, when he was present at his shop with his business partner Sanjeev Bhist, two persons came at his shop and handed over a mobile phone to him forcing him to speak with Khalil who demanded Rs 10 lakh from them or else he and his family would be eliminated.

In its charge sheet, the police invoked MCOCA against him saying he was running a crime syndicate and is involved in 34 cases of extortion, dacoity, kidnapping, assault, murder, intimidation, attempt to murder etc from 1985 to 2009.

To this, the judge said the "prosecution has relied upon the list of 34 criminal cases which were filed against the accused between 1985 and 2009. These 34 cases include the present one.

"The mere fact that the accused was previously involved in some robbery, dacoity and extortion cases with some other accused persons is ipso-facto and not sufficient to draw an inference that the accused was running an organised crime syndicate or acted on behalf of such syndicate.

It is pertinent to state here that there is nothing in the above cases which may show that Khalil was running any syndicate or gang," it added.

The court also noted that the police had not filed the copy of charge sheets in 20 cases before it to ascertain if those offences were related to organised crime.

The ASJ also rejected the allegation that Khalil had also acquired numerous movable and immovable properties worth lakhs of rupees by wrongful means.