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Gawli case: Qureshi turns around, wants to withdraw case

By Staff
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Mumbai, Apr 20 (UNI) In a turn-around in the threat and extortion case against gangster-turned-politician Arun Gawli, businessman Shakil Qureshi, who had lodged a complaint against the don, has alleged that he was ''forced to file a false complaint by the police.'' Moving a petition to this effect in the Bombay High Court today, Qureshi also sought permission to withdraw his case against Gawli.

Meanwhile, a division bench, comprising Justice D G Deshpande and Justice V K Tahilramani, while clubbing Qureshi's petition with Gawli's plea challenging the application of MCOCA against him, further extended the stay on the gangster's arrest in the case till May two.

On April 16, police had registered a case against Gawli under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for threatening and trying to extort money from the businessman. Earlier, police had also registered the same offence under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Gawli was granted anticipatory bail by the sessions court, but later the State government moved the High Court, seeking its direction to cancel the bail, on the ground that the sessions court (of Judge Abhay Thipsey) had not taken cognisance of the material available against the gangster.

The court, however, refused to cancel the anticipatory bail, but directed the Principal Sessions Judge to assign a new judge to hear the don's plea afresh. During the pendency of the bail plea before a new judge of the sessions court, police slapped MCOCA on Gawli.

Following this, Gawli moved High Court on the ground that the stringent provisions of MCOCA were wrongly applied on him, and urged the court to quash and set aside the proceedings against him.

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