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Delhi Courts Move
Against the High and Mighty in 2007
|by Kanu Sarda|
2007 will be remembered as a year when the judiciary sent out a powerful message in the Indian capital that the rich and mighty are not above the law.
Former central minister Jagdish Tytler's role in the 1984 anti-Sikh riots came under the scanner with a court directing the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to re-investigate charges against him. The CBI had earlier given him a clean chit but a Sikh man living in the US said he was ready to testify against the Congress leader if he was provided security.
Babulal Katara, a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Gujarat, was caught when he was about to board a Toronto-bound flight here with a woman and a boy he tried to pass off his wife and son. Six attempts by the 48-year-old to get bail were turned down by a court that took a stringent view of his human trafficking offence saying: "If law framers resort to such offences and become law breakers, they will be dealt with sternly."
Connaught Place shooting:
Sending a strong message to law enforcers, a court sentenced 10 policemen to life on charges of killing two traders in a fake gun battle at Connaught Place a decade ago. The guilty included Assistant Commissioner of Police S.S. Rathi.
Uma Khurana sting:
A news channel reporter, Prakash Singh, was held guilty of conducting a fake sting operation that portrayed Uma Khurana, a schoolteacher, to be engaged in a prostitution racket. A city court eventually discharged Khurana of all charges but by then she had lost her job.
Real estate tycoons and Uphaar cinema hall owners Sushil and Gopal Ansal and 10 others were convicted for rash and negligent acts for the deaths of 59 people in a blaze that engulfed the theatre during the screening of the Hindi blockbuster "Border" on June 13, 1997. While the Ansals and three others got away with two years in jail, a sentence they have challenged, seven others whose culpability was greater were awarded seven years rigorous imprisonment.
A court ordered the extradition to Britain of Maninder Pal Singh Kohli, accused of raping and killing British teenager Hannah Claire Foster. Kohli, who fled Britain after the 2003 crime, was arrested in July 2004 at Kalimpong in West Bengal.
A court booked gangster Abu Salem, brought to the capital from Mumbai in connection with extortion cases against him, under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act. He was extradited from Portugal in 2005 because he was wanted in the 1993 Mumbai serial bomb blasts. In New Delhi, Salem is wanted in three cases.
A court continues to hear the case against Ashok Malhotra, a former Delhi assembly canteen vendor and alleged mastermind of a booming land scam. Arrested by the CBI, he is accused of entering into a criminal conspiracy with Delhi Development Authority officials and fraudulently acquiring plots in Dhirpur area that were meant for slum dwellers. The CBI seized a large number of luxury cars as well as cash and gold from his possession.
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