The Bombay police case against main accused Nadeem Akhtar Saifee in the Gulshan Kumar murder suffered a serious setback on Wednesday after approver Mohammed Ali Hussain Shaikh refused to identify Kumar's killers in a Bombay court.
Shaikh refused to identify any of the accused in the case and also stated that he did not know music director Nadeem Saifee.
When Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam asked Shaikh if he knew Nadeem, he said, "No, I don't know him. And I have never seen him."
When asked if he could identify any of the accused in the court, Shakih said, "I don't know anything about the Gulshan Kumar case and I had no role to play in his murder."
Shaikh was the prosecution's main witness. He had reportedly told the police that Nadeem had participated in the conspiracy to murder the music baron.
But the London high court, which heard Nadeem's extradition case, rejected the Indian government's request on the ground that there was no prima facie case against Nadeem.
However, the prosecution believed that Nadeem and Tips Cassettes boss Ramesh Taurani conspired to get rid of Gulshan Kumar. They were of the opinion that Nadeem was furious because he believed Kumar was deliberately not promoting his album.
Tips was being given a run for its money by Gulshan Kumar's T-Series label.
Speaking to rediff.com over the telephone from London, Nadeem said, "I feel vindicated. The God has once again listened to my prayers and truth has prevailed."
"It has been proved that the Bombay police are a bunch of liars and have falsely implicated me in the case," said Nadeem.
Asked if he was planning to come to India now that the approver had turned hostile, Nadeem said, "I will come back only if I am called honourably."
However, Nikam is still optimistic. "I don't think it is a setback. It was a statutory requirement to bring Shaikh in the witness box."
"I have issued a certificate and withdrawn Shaikh's pardon. We have more evidence," he added.
Apparently, the prosecution will now treat Shaikh as an accused in the case.
Meanwhile, Majeed Memon, the defence counsel, said, "It is a major achievement for us. The prosecution relied on Shaikh's statement to get Nadeem extradited."
"The witness has denied the police version. The police is just left with circumstantial evidence now," he added.
Gulshan Kumar Murder: The Complete Coverage
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