Ms Salian has sent her opinion to challege Brijesh acquital

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Mumbai, Oct 16 (UNI) Special Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian today wrote a letter to the Principal Secretary (Law and Judiciary) department in Maharashtra government, seeking the latter's approval to challenge in Supreme Court the discharge of notorious gangster Brijesh Singh by the TADA court.

Ms Salian, in the letter, has stated that the prosecution had substantial evidence against Singh and Virendra Rai for their alleged involvement in J J Shootout case. But, TADA court Judge D U Mulla did not consider the evidence while discharging the duo. She wrote that she had made argument at length in this case before Judge Mulla and had tried to convince that it was the 'Same Case' not not 'Same Trial'. However, the court did not consider her point.

She stated that when the accused were shown as absconding in the first chargesheet, she had argued that this was the same case and a continuous process of the same case.

She felt that it is injustice to natural law because the key accused, who was absconding at that time and now arrested, was discharged from all charges, while the court had convicted other accused in the same case.

Discharge of these accused by TADA court would have adverse effect on other cases in the country, she added.

Judge Mulla, in his discharge order, had said the confessional statement of a co-accused could not be used against Singh as evidence since he was facing a separate trial in the matter.

In January this year, Delhi Police, along with the Orissa Police, had managed to nab Singh, one of the most dreaded mafia dons of Uttar Pradesh, from Bhubaneswar.

He had over 100 criminal cases lodged against him in various states and carried a reward of Rs 5,00,000. Later, Mumbai Police secured his custody to face trial in the hospital shootout case.

On September 12, 1992, a member of the Arun Gawli gang, Shailesh Haldankar, was killed by members of a rival gang, led by absconding don Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar, at the J J Hospital in south Mumbai.

Haldankar was undergoing treatment when several people barged into the government-run hospital with 9mm pistols, .38 and .32 revolvers and AK-47 assault rifles. The assailants fired more than 500 bullets during the shootout, killing Haldankar and two police constables, apart from injuring several more police personnel on duty.

The trial started four years later with police producing a list of more than 30 accused in the case, including Brijesh Singh. Of these, some died and others were discharged. Finally, nine underwent trial, while 14, including Singh and Dawood, were declared absconders. Of those tried, three were slapped with life imprisonment and six acquitted.

UNI ST SSS SB VC1919

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