Mumbai, Feb 22 (UNI) Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court today framed charges against nine accused in the case of unauthorised construction of twin shopping complex-Sara&Sahara-- at Crawford Market in South Mumbai.
The accused pleaded not guilty.
The trial will resume from March nine, MCOCA Judge Ashok Bhangale said after consulting the Public Prosecutor.
Before reading out the charges framed against the accused, MCOCA Judge Ashok Bhangale finished the hearing on a bail application of two Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) employees--Assistant Commissioner Kiran Acharekar and Assistant Engineer Shirish Salvekar.
Arguing on their behalf, defence counsel Nilesh Pawaskar prayed for their bail since a high-powered committee of the BMC, set to inquire into their involvement in the construction of the twin shopping complex, had exonerated them and had recommended their reinstatement.
He said, at this stage ''we are not demanding their discharge from the case, but bail to them during the trial period.'' However, Public Prosecutor Rohini Salian argued that there was evidence against the duo for their involvement in helping the main accused in the construction of the complex on the Central Public Works Department (CPWD) land.
She said since the trial is to begin, granting bail to them at this stage would affect the trial.
Judge Bhangale then asked the defence counsel to produce the certified true copy of the BMC committee's report exonerating the two officers and recommending their reinstatement before the court on March two.
Of the eleven accused, nine who have been arrested, including underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's brother Iqbal Ibrahim Kaskar and Tariq Parveen, deported from Dubai, were present in the court. The remaining two--Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar and Shaikh Babu Chhota Shakeel-- the wanted accused are presently residing in Pakistan.
The Sara&Sahara commercial complex, allegedly owned by Dawood Ibrahim, was built illegally on a land belong to the CPWD, which was reserved for a municipal school.
However, the accused obtained permission, allegedly in connivance with the BMC officials and constructed 380 shops and 70 storage rooms in the twin complex.
Nine persons charged in this case include Abdul Rehman Shaikh, Abdul Sattar, Iqbal Hassan Ibrahim Kaskar, Narendra Rajbhar, Gulam Nabi Tanwar, Hasmukh Shah, Kiran Achrekar, Shirish Salvekar and Tariq Parveen.
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