Bombay high Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of Abdul Rauf in the murder case of Gulshan Kumar murder case, founder of the T-series. The trial court in 2002 sentenced Rauf merchant, an aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim to life imprisonment for the murder of Gulshan Kumar in 1997.
Gulshan Kumar, also known as the “Cassette king,” was shot dead while coming out of a temple in Mumbai on August 12, 1997. Three assailants rained in 16 bullets while he was coming out of a temple at Jeet Nagar in Juhu. Gulshan Kumar died on the spot.
The bench of Justice Sadhana S Jadhav and Justice N R Borkar, in their judgment, taking note of Rauf’s criminal background, clarified that he would not be given any leniency in his prison term.
The bench observed, “It is a matter of record that the appellant Abdul Rauf had absconded soon after the incident, i.e., August 12, 1997, and could be arrested only in 2001. The appellant was enlarged on leave in April 2009, and he had not surrendered within the stipulated time. He was arrested in November 2016. The appellant has criminal antecedents, and he continued in similar criminal activities after that also. Hence, in the interest of justice and society at large, the appellant does not deserve any leniency. Hence, the appellant shall not be entitled to any remissions whatsoever.”
The court dismissed the appeal of the government against the acquittal of Ramesh Taurine, the business rival of Gulshan Kumar, and observed, “No cogent and convincing evidence to establish that Taurani had conspired with Saifee or Salem,”
The High Court accepted the government’s challenge against the acquittal of Abdul Rashid and convicted him of murder and criminal conspiracy, and sentenced him to life imprisonment by asking him to surrender before the sessions court or DN Nagar police station.
In its charge sheet, the Mumbai police registered a case against 26 people, including music composer Nadeem Akhtar Saifee and Ramesh Taurani. Both Saifee and Ramesh Taurani, owners of Tips cassettes, were named as co-conspirators.
Nadeem managed to evade arrest and fled to the United Kingdom while Mumbai police arrested Taurani.
In his 69-page judgment for the bench, Justice Jadhav observed, “The assailants had no personal animosity or grudge against the deceased Gulshan Kumar. They had committed the horrendous act as they were hired by Nadeem Saifee and Abu Salem, who wanted to satisfy their vendetta against the deceased. Unwarranted acquittals would not only give a wrong signal to society but would pose a threat to law and order… Eyewitnesses could not have faulted the identity of the persons who killed the deceased in broad daylight. It was indeed a cold-blooded murder.”