A Delhi Sessions Court on Thursday acquitted Uttar Pradesh legislator Mukhtar Ansari and his three associates of charges of allegedly running an organised crime syndicate for undue pecuniary benefits.
Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Chandra Shekhar acquitted 57-year-old Ansari, an independent legislator from Mau Assembly constituency, of charges under Section 3 (4) of the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for being a member of an organised crime syndicate.
The court stated the accused were acquitted due to lack of evidence in the case.
The others acquitted are Ansari’s alleged accomplices Prem Prakash alias Munna Bajrangi, Iftekhar Ahmed and Meraz Ahmed. The acquittal order comes in the 2009 case lodged by the special cell of Delhi Police under the provisions of MCOCA. The Sessions Court had, on May 3, 2012, framed charges against the four persons under MCOCA.
Bajrangi, who is currently lodged in Jhansi jail, was also charged for running an organised crime, with the court noting that the offences did not result in any deaths. Iftikhar and Meraz were charged for conspiring or attempting to commit or advocating, abetting and knowingly facilitating the commission of organised crimes by Bajrangi.
Bajrangi, Iftekhar and Meraz were, however, acquitted by a magisterial court in 2012 in the extortion case under the IPC, while the case under MCOCA was on before the ASJ. Bajrangi was arrested by the Special Cell of Delhi Police in October 2009 for threatening a South Delhi businessman named Ashok Tebriwal to extort money. His accomplice Iftekhar and Meraz were arrested in November, 2009, and the police invoked MCOCA against them.
The police had arrested Bajrangi and others from Mumbai, claiming they had intercepted a telephonic conversation that revealed a conspiracy to extort money from Tebriwal. The police had also claimed that the callers were associates of Bajrangi, who had called up Tebriwal demanding Rs 1 crore. Following this, the police also lodged an FIR against Ansari, who was said to be close to Bajrangi, after it claimed to have found that Ansari was also part of the organised crime syndicate and was arrested in May 2010.
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