Mamata Kulkarni drug case to Leander Paes-Rhea Pillai battle: Trials to watch out for in 2018

Updated: Jan 01, 2018, 15:04 IST | Team mid day | Mumbai

Trials in major cases, some dating back to 2008, will keep courts busy through all of 2018

Janhavi Gadkar Car

The lawyer who broke the law
On June 10, 2015, Chembur reside­nt Janhavi Gadkar, 32, who worked as a legal adviser, was arrested after she ram­med her car into a taxi on the Eastern Freeway killing two people. On August 10, 2015 , a 560-page charge sheet, filed at the Kurla Magistrate court, confirmed that she was allegedly drunk at the time of the accident. The deceased were identified as taxi driver Mohammed Abdul Sayyad, 55, and Mohammed Salim Sabuwala, 50.

Janhavi Gadkar
Janhavi Gadkar

Four others — Hafiza Sabuwala, 45, and her kids Salma, 24, Sadiya, 22, and Nouman —were injured in the accident. Apparently, Gadkar, whose office is in Nariman Point, had visited Irish House, a pub at Kala Ghoda, after having six pegs of whisky at Hotel Marine Plaza, and allegedly consumed drinks at the pub as well. Her colleague, CFO Finance of Reliance Industries, Alok Agarwal, 57, accompanied her. Gadkar met with the accident while on her way back home around 12.40 am. The ill-fated Sabuwalas were returning in a taxi from Bhiwandi after celebrating Nouman's performance in the SSC exams. Although charges are still being framed against Gadkar, it's slated to one of the most talked-about criminal cases in the city.
By Sailee Dhayalkar

Mamta Kulkarni
Mamta Kulkarni

Ephedrone case: Will Mumbai cops get custody of Mamta?
The Rs 2,000 crore ephedrone case in which former Bollywood actor Mamta Kulkarni and her husband Vicky Goswami were made accused will go into trial in 2018. The anti-narcotics cell of the Thane Crime branch has arrested 14 of the 16 accused in the case, where Mamta and Vicky are yet to be arrested. All the arrested accused have appealed for bail in the Sessions court, which has been rejected. They have now applied in the high court. Advocate S Hire, who is the special PP in the case has appealed for Mamta's property to be seized. They have also appealed for a red corner notice and are waiting central orders. Vicky was arrested by the US govt this year, and the Thane police are awaiting his custody. The accused in the court, including Mamta, has appealed for the retesting of the seized ephedrone.
By Faisal Tandel

Jyotirmoy Dey
Jyotirmoy Dey

J Dey's murderers on trial
Jyotirmoy Dey, who was the editor (investigations) of mid-day, was shot dead in Powai on June 11, 2011, while on his way back home on his motorcycle. In December the same year, cops had filed a 3,055-page charge sheet against 10 accused belonging to the Chhota Rajan gang. A supplementary charge sheet, running into 120-odd pages, was filed against former journalist Jigna Vora in June 2012, for supplying details of the victim to the killers. Among the other accused are Anil Waghmode, Abhijeet Shinde, Arun Dake, Sachin Gaikwad, Nilesh Shendge, Mangesh Agawane, who had followed Dey, and Satish Kalya, who had shot him. Asrani had allegedly pointed out Dey at a Mulund bar. Cops said Deepak Sisodia had supplied weapons to the shooters and Paulson Joseph had given them global SIM cards and R2 lakh in cash to execute the crime.

The charge sheet says all accused are members of an organised crime syndicate run by Rajan, who was arrested by Indian agencies in Bali. He was brought to Delhi on November 26 and is lodged at Tihar jail. A charge sheet was filed in 2016, against Rajan, and the trial continues. All the accused are behind bars, except Jigna, Sisodia and Joseph, who are out on bail. The court will hear the final arguments and pass judgment in 2018.
By Sailee Dhayalkar

Hema and Chintan Upadhyay
Hema and Chintan Upadhyay

Hema's killer still at large
Two dead bodies, placed inside cardboard boxes, were recovered from a drain in Malad in December 2015. The bodies were identified as that of renowned artist Hema Upadhyay and her lawyer, Harish Bhambani. Following probe, Hema's husband, Chintan Upadhyay, who is also a well-known artist, and co-accused Shivkumar Rajbhar, Pradeep Rajbhar and Vijay Rajbhar were booked for their involvement in the murders. Another key accused, Vidyadhar Rajbhar, accused of carrying out the twin killings on Chintan's behalf, is absconding.

All the other accused are behind the bars. Chintan's bail application was rejected by the Sessions Court and then by the high court. In 2018, trial is likely to begin and the court is likely to frame charges against all the accused. Meanwhile, hunt for Rajbhar continues.
By Sailee Dhayalkar

Indrani Mukerjea
Indrani Mukerjea

Will Sheena Bora get justice?
One of the most sensational murders of 2015, wherein a mother, Indrani Mukerjea, her former husband, Sanjeev Khanna, and her driver, Shyamvar Rai, were arrested for allegedly murdering her daughter Sheena Bora, 24. The crime came to light when Rai was arrested on August 21, 2015, following the seizure of a 7.63 bore pistol from him. Soon after he confessed to the crime, on August 25, Indrani was arrested. The day after, Khanna was also arrested. After the case was handed over to CBI, in November 2015, the agency arrested former media baron Peter Mukerjea and filed a charge sheet against Indrani, Khanna and Rai.

Sheena Bora
Sheena Bora

All the accused in the case are behind bars. After the trial began in 2017, Rai turned approver in the case, and he is currently being examined under the oath. The trial will continue in 2018, when Peter's children, Rahul and Vidhie, are likely to depose.
By Sailee Dhayalkar

Vijay Mallya
Vijay Mallya

Will the liquor baron be brought to book?
Beleaguered business tycoon Vijay Mallya defrauded Indian banks to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore by illegally obtaining loans. The Enforcement Directorate claims Mallya created 20 shell companies in India and at least 12 more abroad to park the funds to run the troubled Kingfisher Airlines, which had been incurring losses since inception. Mallya allegedly conspired to over-inflate and project the airlines' brand value at Rs 3,406 crore, and used it to raise loans. The liquor baron fled to Britain in March 2016 and was, subsequently, arrested by the Scotland Yard, but soon released on bail. He has been declared a proclaimed offender by the Indian court. Efforts are on to bring him back to India to face the law.

Opposing his extradition request in a UK court, Mallya's lawyers had referred to the dismal state of jails in India. Soon after, the government sent photos of the specially designed barrack at Arthur Jail to the Yard authorities, which earlier housed 26/11 terror attacks, accused Ajmal Kasab. The ED and the CBI are hopeful that Mallya would be extradited to India in 2018.

Thane Call Centre
In the call centre case busted by the Thane crime branch unit 1, the charge sheet is being filed in court. The bail application of the accused is pending in court, said advocate S Hire, who is the special public prosecutor in the case. The police had busted overnight what could possibly be the biggest impersonation call scams in India and detained over 500 people from nine call centres in Mira Road for cheating thousands, primarily foreign nationals, through the fraud. The international racket being run from a Mira Road call centre placed calls to US citizens posing as IRS (Internal Revenue Service) officials, said several of those arrested are college dropouts or unemployed youths, who stayed in the job for the handsome salary.

Primary investigations revealed that the database had personal details of thousands of foreign and Indian nationals such as contact numbers, names, addresses and citizenships. Such details were allegedly used to take victims into confidence. They would then tell them they had defaulted on tax or insurance payments and threatened them with legal action. They would coax or threaten them into revealing their bank account details. As soon as the details were out, the bank accounts were wiped clean.
By Vijay Kumar Yadav

Rabia Khan, Jiah's mother
Rabia Khan, Jiah's mother

Jiah Khan: A heinous murder or a case of suicide?
Actress Jiah Khan, then 25, was found hanging from a ceiling fan at her Juhu residence in June 2013. The police had dubbed her case as a suicide after they found a suicide note, purportedly penned by her. According to Jiah's mother Rabia Khan, Sooraj Pancholi, son of actor couple Aditya Pancholi-Zarina Wahab, was dating the actress. Rabia demanded a probe into the death of her daughter alleging that it was not suicide. She had moved the high court, submitting reports by independent experts to support her contention that Jiah was murdered.

Jiah Khan
Jiah Khan

On June 10, 2013, cops arrested Sooraj and booked him for abetment to suicide on the basis of the letter. Meanwhile, the high court tasked the CBI to probe the case. After thorough investigation, the CBI had filed its report in the HC stating that it was not a case of murder. On July 1, 2013, the Bombay HC granted bail to Sooraj. In 2015, Mumbai Police filed a 447-page charge sheet against Sooraj. Trial in the case is expected to begin this year.
By Sailee Dhayalkar

Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur
Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur

The blast that rocked Malegaon
On September 29, 2008, a blast ripped thro­ugh Malegaon, killing four and inju­ring 79. Another, during the same time, in Modasa, Gujarat, killed one. Initial probe pointed to the involvement of Hindu extr­e­mists in Indore. Twelve people, including Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit, were arrested. In April 2015, the SC directed Bombay High Court to appoint a special court to hear the case since it was over six years old. The case was heard on a daily basis from September 5.

In 2016, sacked cop Me­h­mood Mujawar spar­ked a controversy by claiming two of the key accu­sed, Ramchandra Kalsangra and Sandeep Dange, declared absconding, were killed in November 2008 and their bodies were mixed up with the attack victims. His allegations are being probed. In 2017, the Sadhvi and Purohit were granted bail, and both won't be tried under the MCOCA. The court is expected to pass an order and frame charges against all the accused following trial in 2018.
By Sailee Dhayalkar

Leander Paes
Leander Paes

Pillai-Paes saga drags on in court
In 2014, Rhea Pillai had filed a domestic violence (DV) case against her partner, ace tennis player, Leander Paes, with whom she now claims that she had a Gandharva wedding. The couple has an eight-year-old daughter. Pillai in her DV petition, filed before Magistrate Court, has sought monthly expense for her daughter and herself. The petition was under dispute for long until an order from Supreme Court last year, which has asked the Magistrate Court to conduct the trial and pass a final order in six months.

Rhea Pillai
Rhea Pillai

After the order was passed, Pillai was asked to step into the witness box and record her statement. In 2018, Leander is likely to depose in the case and record his statement.
By Sailee Dhayalkar

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