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IndiaMumbai court convicts four accused, acquits 10 others in 2015 Malvani hooch...

Mumbai court convicts four accused, acquits 10 others in 2015 Malvani hooch tragedy


Mumbai: A sessions court on Monday convicted four accused and acquitted 10 others in the 2015 hooch tragedy, in which more than 100 people lost their lives in Mumbai's Malvani area.

Additional sessions judge Swapnil Tawshikar found the accused, Raju Tapkar, Donald Patel, Francis D'mello and Mansoor Khan, guilty of criminal conspiracy, culpable homicide not amounting to murder and other relevant charges under the Indian Penal Code and Bombay Prohibition Act.

The court will hear the prosecution and arguments on sentencing on May 6.

More than 100 people died after consuming spurious liquor in the Lakshmi Nagar slum at Malvani in the western suburb of Malad in June 2015.

The judge, while pronouncing the order, held that “there was a marathon of evidence in the case and then a marathon final arguments”.

The tragic incident had caused the death of 106 persons and injuries to around 75, including permanent loss of eyesight, the court noted.

While the prosecution argued that all the accused persons were involved in a criminal conspiracy, the court held that the examination of nearly 240 witnesses did not define a clear chain of evidence.

The prosecution had failed to prove the involvement of all the accused in the criminal conspiracy, it said.

During the trial, special public prosecutor Pradeep Gharat informed the court that at the outset, the deaths of people by consuming spurious illicit liquor in the state is a rearrest of the rear case since only one or two such deaths have occurred in the last two decades in Maharashtra.

The prosecution had examined a witness who helped Tapkar sell the hooch, while a few other witnesses who deposed in the case had consumed the liquor in the den of one of the accused persons.

The prosecution also submitted the dying declaration of one of the victims and the deposition of victims who lost their eyesight in the tragedy.

There were 16 accused in the case, one of whom died during the trial, and one remains absconding.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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