Rarely do you find people distributing chocolates on being acquitted in a criminal case. But that is exactly what Mohammad Shamshuddin alias Bhatija did in the designated MCOCA court in Mumbai on Wednesday.
As soon as he learnt that film financier Bharat Shah had been released for time already spent in custody, Bhatija, who was acquitted in the case, gave him chocolates and greeted him.
The Bharat Shah Case: The Complete Coverage
The imported chocolate was wrapped in an attractive blue cover.
"Whenever I am happy, I give chocolates to people," Bhatija told rediff.com "Generally people prefer sweets, but I prefer chocolates."
Shah happily took the chocolates and put one in his mouth with a wide smile. Soon, Shah himself was distributing the chocolate to those greeting him on his acquittal.
"In my opinion eating chocolates make you feel good," Bhatija said. "And no one refuses to accept the chocolate when you give them lovingly."
The Mumbai police had arrested Bhatija, accusing him of being the point man in Dubai of gangster Chhota Shakeel.
The police had claimed that Bhatija had paid US $50,000 [approximately Rs 23 lakh] to finance Shah's movie Chori Chori Chupke Chupke at Chhota Shakeel's behest.
Unlike Mumbai gangsters, who are known for their harsh tongue, Bhatija is a quiet man who speaks Hindi with a pronounced Tamil accent.
Asked what he plans to do now, Bhatija said, "I am going back to Dubai as my business is over there."
He did not comment, however, on the case or on Shah.
A citizen of Dubai, Bhatija had been granted leave by the court to visit the emirate from December 21 to January 6 last so that he could maintain his residential status. He had been informed by the government of the emirate to report to it by December 23 to retain his citizenship.
Bhatija had pleaded that the case against him should be dismissed as there was no prima facie evidence against him at that stage. But designated Judge A P Bhangale had rejected his plea then.
Judge Bhangale, however, acquitted him on Tuesday, saying the police had produced no evidence to nail Bhatija.
Asked how he felt about the judgment, Bhatija said, "Obviously, I am happy. I will not say anything more than this."
Asked if he does not feel angry at having been wrongly implicated, Bhatija said politely, "No, I am not going to fall in your trap of answering questions. I want to be far away from journalists now. I have had enough of attention."