Bom HC | 2011 Mumbai Blasts | Court refuses to discharge Hawala Operator who transferred money to Yasin Bhatkal

Bombay High Court: The Division Bench of Sarang V. Kotwal and Indrajit Mohanty, JJ. upheld the order of the trial court whereby it had dismissed the appellant’s application preferred under Section 227 CrPC for being discharged in the 2011 Mumbai Blasts case. The appellant was Accused 3 in the case who was charge-sheeted for the offences punishable under various Sections of IPC, Explosive Substances Act, Prevention of Damages to Public Properties Act, Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act and Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).

The incident

On 13-7-2011, 3 bomb blasts took place in Mumbai at Zaveri Bazar, Opera House and Dadar, Bombs were placed in vehicles near the vicinity of crowded localities which caused large scale destruction killing 27 people and injuring 127 others.

Role of the appellant

As per the prosecution, the appellant was a Hawala Operator based in Delhi on whose instructions, his servant handed over Rs 10 lakh to one Sivananad. Actually, this Sivanand was Yasin Bhatkal, one of the main accused. The money was routed through Dubai on instructions of Haroon Rashid Abdul Hameed Naik of Indian Mujahidiin.

High Court’s decision

After the refusal of discharge application by the trial court, the appellant challenged it before the High Court. After listening to Senior Advocate A.P. Mudargi appearing for the appellant and Ajay Patil, Additional Public Prosecutor, the Court was of the opinion that the trial court’s order doesn’t require interference. After referring to Sections 3 and 22 of MCOCA, the Court noted that there was a presumption of committing the offence running against the petitioner which could be rebutted by him only at the stage of trial only after the prosecution gets an opportunity to lead evidence in that behalf. It was held that at the present stage it was not possible to record a finding for purpose of discharging the appellant. Furthermore, submission of not making another person as accused rejected. In such view of the matter, trial court’s order was upheld and the appeal was dismissed. [Kawalnayan Wazirchand Pathreja v. State of Maharashtra, 2019 SCC OnLine Bom 61, dated 17-01-2019]

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