August 28, 2014 12:56:59 am
A special Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) court on Wednesday convicted three men accused of shooting at a bar owner in Vakola in October 2009, who survived a bullet aimed at his chest, thanks to a Rs 5 coin kept in his shirt pocket. The special court, however, acquitted them of the MCOCA charges.
While the two shooters were handed out the life sentence, a gangster, who allegedly ordered the shootout was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
According to the prosecution, on October 1, 2009, Krishna Shetty, the owner of Pushpa Bar and his friend Nicholas Gomes were sitting outside a video parlour in Vakola when three motorcycle-borne men fired at them. While one bulled hit Gomes, another hit Shetty on his stomach and the third on his chest. Shetty had a narrow escape as a coin in his wallet kept in his shirt pocket prevented the bullet from reaching his heart. Vencil Miranda and Nitin Pawar had allegedly fired at Shetty after receiving orders from gangster Sachin Khambe. The third accused, a Varanasi native, who allegedly accompanied Miranda and Pawar, is still at large.
Special Judge A L Pansare convicted Khambe, Miranda and Pawar under Section 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code.
Special public prosecutor Lata Chedda told Newsline 54 prosecution witnesses had testified in court, of which one turned hostile. Chedda added that the trio was convicted under Section 307, but the court acquitted them of MCOCA charges.
The Mumbai Police Crime Branch had nabbed Pawar and Miranda on October 28, 2009, when they attempted to flee the city in a Bangalore-bound bus from Chembur. Khambe, however, was lodged in a Bangalore jail, serving his sentence for kidnapping a businessman in 2000. Khambe, a former aide of extradited gangster Abu Salem, was also undergoing life imprisonment for the murder of Vikhroli builder Zia-Ul Sheikh from Mumbai.
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