7 get life for 2010 dacoity-murder

The sessions court sentenced seven people to life imprisonment and two to ten years rigorous imprisonment Thursday for a dacoity in March 2010 in which 35-year-old moneylender Alpesh Jain was killed in broad daylight in his shop at Dhobi Talao in south Mumbai and ornaments worth Rs 1 crore looted.

Mohammad Iliyas Ahmed Shaikh (60), Atul Shetty (36), Feroze Jamburi (25), Ayaz Mansori (28), Azim Khan (35), Rehan Shaikh (32), Shakil Memon (36), Safi Shaikh (36) and Imran Khan (39) attacked Jain on March 4, 2010.

The prosecution claimed Jain was tied up and strangled to death. It said a neighbour paying routine visit to the shop saw him lying in a pool of blood and raised alarm. An eyewitness identified four of the nine before court. Additional sessions judge P V Ganediwala sentenced Memon and Khan to 10 years as the murder charge against them could not be proved, while others got life. Public prosecutor Nilima Kasture examined 57 witness, of whom two turned hostile.

"The witnesses that turned hostile were relatives of the accused," investigating officer Yogesh Chavan said. He adduced evidence on five occasions during trial. "Every time a doubt was expressed by the court, the officer would bring new set of evidence," said defence lawyer Kaushik Mhatre, who has written to the chief justice of Bombay High Court that "unbridled support" was offered to the prosecution and Chavan was allowed to submit documents and evidence till the fag end of the trial disregarding CrPC provisions.

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