A court on Thursday framed charges against seven suspected members of Chhota Shakeel gang for allegedly entering into a criminal conspiracy to eliminate a senior Delhi high court advocate for representing Bharatiya Janta Party Member of Parliament Varun Gandhi in a 'hate speech' case.
Additional Sessions Judge Bimla Kumari found prima facie sufficient evidence to order trial of Baldish, Dilshad, Nafisul Hasan, Sajid, Ram Shankar, Mirza Mukhtar and Pintoo Mandal under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code.
Among the accused, Nafisul, Ram Shankar and Mirza Mukhtar were also charged with other offences including attempt to murder and obstructing public servants from discharge of their duties for allegedly attacking a police team of Delhi Police's Special Cell at the time of their arrest in July last.
Baldish, Nafisul and Ram Shankar, who allegedly obtained SIM cards on fake identity, were also charged with forgery. Dilshad, Ram Shankar, Nafisul and Pintoo were also charged with the provisions of the Arms Act as they were allegedly found in possession of pistols and live cartridges.
According to the police, the accused allegedly wanted to kill senior advocate Siddharth Luthara at the instance of underworld don Chhota Shakeel because the lawyer represented Gandhi after he was arrested under the National Security Act by the Uttar Pradesh government for making a communal speech in a public meeting during an election rally.
All the accused allegedly conspired for the purpose between mid June and July five, last year. As many as seven accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and expressed their readiness to face trial in the matter.
One Mohinder was, however, discharged by the court due to lack of sufficient evidence.