THE BOMBAY High Court on Tuesday acquitted from graft case senior police inspector Arun Khanvilkar, who was attached with Anti Terrorism Squad and was arrested in 2010 by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) along with two others.
Prior to his arrest, Khanvilkar had been a part of investigation in 2008 Malegaon Blasts case, Aurangabad arms haul case, and the 2006 Mumbai train blast case.
On August 30, a single-judge bench of Justice Ajay S Gadkari passed a verdict in appeal by Khanvilkar, Chetan Laxman Desai alias Khamla, and Sanjay Brijlal Khakkar alias Pintu, challenging October 28, 2013 order of the special court that convicted the three under provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
According to ACB, Khanvilkar had raided a gambling den in Mulund and detained a few gamblers, including the complainant, who approached the ACB. He alleged that Khanvilkar along with Desai and Pintu had demanded Rs 20 lakh to settle the matter; the amount was later negotiated and reduced. The special court then convicted and sentenced Khanvilkar to two years in prison and his associates were sent to 18 months in prison. Khanvilkar, and the others approached the High Court challenging the special court order. Advocates Niteen Pradhan, Shubhada Khot and Satyvrat Joshi for the appellant said there wasn’t sufficient evidence against the accused and the same was not reliable and Khanvilkar was never caught in a trap by the police. Khanvilkar also agreed that the sanction granted to prosecute him was perverse and should not have been granted due to lack of evidence.
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Advocates Satyavrat Joshi along with Nitesh Mohite and Vaibhav Bagade, appearing for the two private persons, too had submitted that the evidence was not reliable and pointed to the discrepancies in the prosecution case. The court held that the prosecution failed to prove its case and quashed and set aside the trial court order. “The appellants are acquitted from all the charges framed against them,” it held. The order will be made available in due course.