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Gulshan Kumar murder case: Bombay HC upholds conviction of sharpshooter Rauf Merchant

 Gulshan Kumar, the owner of T-Series, was shot dead while coming out of a temple in Mumbai on August 12, 1997.

Gulshan Kumar murder case: Bombay HC upholds conviction of sharpshooter Rauf Merchant-dnm
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Bengaluru, First Published Jul 1, 2021, 12:30 PM IST
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The Bombay High Court on Thursday upheld the conviction of Abdul Rauf Merchant in the murder case of Gulshan Kumar, founder of T-series. Abdul Rauf Merchant, an aide of gangster Dawood Ibrahim, was sentenced to life imprisonment in 2002 for Gulshan Kumar’s murder in 1997.

A bench of Justices SS Jadhav and NR Borkar upheld the life sentence for Merchant and directed that he get “no remission’’ looking at his past conduct in absconding twice.

The HC however, partly allowed Merchant’s appeal and set aside his conviction under sections 392 and 397 of the Indian Penal Code for offences of robbery and dacoity with an attempt to cause death or grievous hurt.

Another accused Abdul Rashid who was acquitted earlier by sessions court has been convicted by Bombay High Court now following Maharashtra govt's appeals against his acquittal. Abdul Rashid Dawood Merchant has been given life term after conviction by the Bombay High Court.

Gulshan Kumar of T-Series was gunned down on August 12, 1997, outside a temple in Andheri (W). The police said it was a case of business rivalry. Five years later, a trial court, however, found evidence to convict the only Merchant and acquitted 18 of the 19 accused, including Tips owner Ramesh Taurani.

The HC also in a separate order, dismissed the appeal filed by State against the acquittal of Taurani in the case.

A division bench noted that Abdul Rauf Dawood Merchant had “criminal antecedents.” “He is not entitled to remission as he absconded right after his arrest. He was released on furlough in 2009. His conviction continued as he fled the parole and continued with his criminal activities. Hence in the interest of justice at large, he does not deserve any leniency,” the bench said.

The bench noted in its order, “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. Appellant is also convicted for the section under 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.”

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