|Rediff India Abroad Home | All the sections|
Samajwadi Party MP arrested in extortion case, released
December 12, 2007 03:10 IST
The Mumbai police on Tuesday arrested Samajwadi Party leader and Rajya Sabha Member of Parliament Abu Asim Azmi in an extortion case.
However, the MP was later released on bail. The Mazgaon Metropolitan Magistrate Court has asked all the eight witnesses in the case to be present before it on December 26.
Raees Siddiqui, who owned a bakery at Sakinaka in suburban Andheri, had filed an FIR against Azmi, lawyer S K Dubey and three others alleging that all the five had threatened him to sign a document effecting the transfer of a property to someone else.
While the accused Israar Shaikh, Saluiddin Shaikh and Ijhaar Shaikh were arrested and released on bail then, the chargesheet named Azmi and Dubey as absconding accused.
The Mazgaon Magistrate Court started the trial against Saluiddin Shaikh and Ijhaar Shaikh in 1999. Israar jumped bail and is absconding till date.
In December 1999, Siddiqui deposed before the court that the accused, in May 1988, asked him to vacate the land he had purchased in Sakinaka and threatened him.
Siddiqui told the court that four months later, on September 30, 1988, when he was travelling towards Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus on a scooter, Azmi and others followed him in a car.
Israar and Saluiddin pulled Siddiqui from the scooter and forced him to sit in the car and took him Azmi's office. Azmi and Dubey then told him to sign some documents.
In his deposition, he stated, "I purposely signed and endorsed improper signature and not my usual one."
Siddiqui said he was detained in the office for a day. Before he was released, Azmi threatened him of dire consequences if he revealed the incident to anyone, Siddiqui told the court.
Siddiqui was then asked by the Sakinaka police station to file the FIR with the Dongri police station.
After his deposition, Siddiqui filed an application under Section 319 of the Criminal Procedure against Azmi and Dubey.
After 10 years, Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Suryakant Shinde heard the matter last month and passed an order that there is prima facie material against Azmi and Dubey.
"We argued that section 319 can only be used against people who were not named in the chargesheet. Azmi and Dubey were named in the chargesheet as absconding accused. We will move the higher courts against this order," said Rajesh Singh, who appeared for Azmi and Dubey.