On Tuesday, a special MCOCA court in Mumbai has sentenced gangster Rajendra Nikalje alias Chhota Rajan to 10 years in jail for a firing incident in suburban Malad, in 2013.
Special Judge AT Wankhede convicted Rajan and five others under sections 307 (attempt to murder), 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code as well as Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act and directed them to pay a fine of Rs 5 lakh each.
A 52-year-old bookie-turned-builder Ajay Gosalia was shot at and injured when he was coming out of a local mall. Gosalia had sustained severe injuries but miraculously escaped death as the bullet had hit a large gold pendant.
The CBI, which took over the case from Mumbai Police, alleged that the firing was ordered by Rajan who had asked his trusted lieutenant Satish Kalia to carry out the attack. It had booked 10 persons on charges of Arms Act, attempt to murder, and MCOC Act. While one of the men died while the trial was ongoing, another absconded and the third person turned approver to testify against the others.
The prosecution, led by special public prosecutor Pradip Gharat, had submitted that Ajay Gosalia was shot at by three persons on 28 August 2013, when he was leaving Infiniti Mall in Malad. It was alleged that the firing was done at the behest of Rajan.
The gangster had submitted before the court that there was no evidence presented by the CBI to show his involvement apart from the approver, whose testimony could not be relied on as he was himself behind the conspiracy and had named others not connected with the case.
The court, however, took into account statements of 36 witnesses among others to convict the accused.
Rajan, an accused in at least 70 cases in Maharashtra, is currently lodged in Tihar Jail in Delhi after deportation from Indonesia in October 2015.