The Bombay High Court sustained Abdul Rauf Merchant’s conviction in the murder of T-series creator Gulshan Kumar on Thursday. Abdul Rauf Merchant, a criminal Dawood Ibrahim’s sidekick, was imprisoned in 2002 for the 1997 assassination of Gulshan Kumar.
Now the court has also rejected the state government’s appeal of appellant Ramesh Taurani of Tips Industries’ conviction.
A division bench of Justice S S Jadhav and Justice N R Borkar noted that Abdul Rauf Dawood Merchant had “criminal records.”
He is not eligible for remission because he fled the scene of his arrest. In 2009, he was granted a leave of absence. His conviction was upheld as he evaded parole and continued to engage in illegal activity and now as a result, he does not deserve any mercy in the interest of justice as a whole, the bench stated.
“Conviction and sentence passed against appellant Abdul Rauf Dawood Merchant under section 302, 307 of IPC by the judgment of sessions court judge dated April 29, 2002, is upheld. The appellant is also convicted under the section 120-B of IPC…. The appellant however is acquitted of charges under sections 392 (Robbery) and 397 (Robbery or dacoity in attempt to cause death) of IPC,” the bench stated in its order,
The state’s appealing it against acquittal of accused Abdul Rashid Dawood Merchant, Abdul Rauf’s brother, was also partially allowed by the court. Abdul Rashid will spend the rest of his life in prison.
T-Series founder Gulshan Kumar was shot and killed as he entered a temple in Mumbai on August 12, 1997. According to the prosecution, his industrial competitors allegedly offered money to Dubai-based criminal Abu Salem to kill him. The trial court, on the other hand, only found Rauf guilty, while the rest were acquitted.