Senior advocate Ram Jethmalani has claimed that underworld don Dawood Ibrahim and his close associate, Chhota Shakeel, had offered to surrender to Indian authorities in the 90s, but the then-Maharashtra chief minister Sharad Pawar had rejected the offer.
Media reports have quoted Jethmalani as saying that Shakeel had contacted him in London with the offer and had asked that both dons be kept under house arrest during the trial, but the state government had been unable to guarantee the same.
"Dawood said that he was ready to come back, but needed assurance from the government that they will not use third degree... and will keep him under house arrest. He said that he was ready to face the punishment if he was wrong," Jethmalani said.
"When he said this, I sent this in writing to Sharad Pawar... I told my son to inform about this offer to the local authorities," he added.
Jethmalani further hinted that the former Congress-led UPA regime may have also decided not to pursue the matter.