Over seven years after advocate Shahid Azmi was shot dead in his Kurla office, charges were framed against four accused in the case. The sessions court framed charges including murder and criminal conspiracy. The court had on Saturday stated that there is “sufficient ground” to frame charges against the accused. Devendra Jagtap, Pintoo Dagale, Vinod Vichare and Hasmukh Solanki have pleaded not guilty.
Advocate Khalid Azmi, Shahid’s younger brother, who is an intervener in the case, said that though the various applications filed by the accused from time to time led to delay in the trial, he is hopeful that the trial will be concluded soon. “The prosecution was ready with the draft charges in 2015.
The accused had filed for discharge and bail, the hearings for which then took place. I am hopeful though it has taken over seven years, the trial will soon reach its conclusion and the culprits will be served the maximum punishment,” Khalid said.
The main accused in the case, Jagtap, had also filed for bail claiming delay in beginning trial, but it was rejected by the court. Shahid, who has represented accused in terror cases including the July 11, 2011 serial train blasts and who was instrumental in the acquittal of two men in the 26/11 terror attack, was shot dead in his office at Taximen’s colony in Kurla on February 11, 2010. The police had initially booked five men including gangster Santosh Shetty who was eventually discharged from the case.
Two of the accused, Dagale and Vichare, are currently out on bail.The men were booked on charges including section 302 (murder), 120B (criminal conspiracy), 452 (house-trespass after preparation for hurt, assault) and under section 3, 25 and 27 of the Arms Act.