Criminal plan: Face your foes

Sep 29, 2011, 12:53 IST | Vinay Dalvi

In an attempt to weaken cases registered against them, notorious criminals adopt method of exposing their identity to the media before the identification parade

In an attempt to weaken cases registered against them, notorious criminals adopt method of exposing their identity to the media before the identification parade

Criminals across the city have adopted a new strategy to weaken cases registered against them. Forget browbeating witnesses or bribing officials, criminals are now simply exposing their faces in front of the media.
The trend began with Satish Kalia, the alleged sharpshooter in the murder case of MiD DAY's senior reporter J Dey. Kalia had raised the veil covering his face while he was being presented in court. The move weakens the testimony of eyewitnesses in court, as the lawyers may argue that the picture of the accused was published in the media.

Showing it all: Ganesh Shinde unveiled his face yesterday at the
Esplanade court while he was being produced on charges of kidnapping

a tour operator. Pics/Milind Karekar

Another notorious criminal Ganesh Devidas Shinde alias Ganya also repeated Kali's stunt, by lifting his veil yesterday outside the Esplanade court. Yesterday, while the shooter was being presented in court with his associate Ganesh Dhondiram Nichite alias Bajrang aka Taklya on charges of shooting at the offices of a tours and travel operator, Shinde lifted his veil in front of the media.

Cops told MiD DAY that such acts hardly affect their investigations. Senior Police Inspector Ramesh Mahale of Crime Branch (Unit I), who is investigating the Dey murder case, said, "In a case where the accused has exposed his face to the public, we record the statements of the people present at the spot. By doing so, we are able to establish that the accused deliberately did so to weaken the case against him."

However, lawyers opined differently. Senior criminal lawyer Majeed Memon said, "It hampers investigations. The law requires that the identity of the accused has to be concealed by the investigators till his identification Parade (IP) is conducted. In case the accused's photograph is leaked to the media before the IP, the defence is benefited as they can claim that the witnesses have seen the accused's pictures in the paper and later identified him in the IP."  Sudeep Pasbola, another lawyer added, "Though the defence gets the benefit, it also depends on the circumstances. If the newspaper in which the photograph is published is circulated within the city limits and the witness and victims are based in some other city then the court considers that aspect too."

Who is Ganesh Shinde?
Shinde, a terror for people living in Sion and Matunga has seven serious offences registered against him. On September 5, Shinde kidnapped a travel operator identified as Satish Naik from his office at Sion. Five hours later, Shinde dumped the body of Naik at Powai after the family had paid a ransom of Rs 5 lakh. Later, on September 14, Shinde opened fire at the office of another businessman after he refused to pay him extortion money. Five days later, on September 19, Shinde surrendered before the Sion police. He was booked under Sections 363 (Punishment for kidnapping), 364 A (Kidnapping or abducting in order to murder), 386 (Extortion by putting a person in fear of death or grievous hurt), 506 (II) (Criminal intimidation) and 34 (Conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

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