Nusli Wadia can testify in murder bid case: HC

Written By Unknown on Jumat, 11 Juli 2014 | 22.23

MUMBAI: The Bombay HC on Thursday dismissed an appeal by Kirti Ambani, one of the main accused in a 23-year-old murder bid on industrialist Nusli Wadia. The appeal was against an order of the sessions court, which had allowed Wadia to depose as a prosecution witness. The order means Wadia can testify.

The HC declined to stay its dismissal order when Ambani, through his counsel, sought four weeks to appeal against the order. Ambani was an employee of Reliance Industries.

The HC had, while hearing Ambani's appeal against the April order of the sessions court, asked the Central Bureau of Investigation to reveal steps it had taken since April to secure the presence of Wadia as a prosecution witness in a trial which was about a conspiracy to murder him.

Justice Revati Mohite Dere passed the order after hearing the appeal. Wadia's counsel

Mahesh Jethmalani had opposed the appeal on the grounds that as a target of a murder bid, he was entitled to testify against the accused, and that the CBI, which initially had him on the list of witnesses, dropped him without explanation.

Amit Desai, Ambani's counsel, said Wadia's plea to be a witness was "belated'' and appeared to be made out of an "ulterior motive''. He questioned the sessions court order, saying such permission was not valid when witnesses had deposed and were cross-examined. Wadia, his lawyers said, had on April 2 filed an affidavit in the sessions court on his readiness to depose as a witness, as he had crucial information.

In 2003, Ambani, Arjun Babaria, Ivan Sequeira and Ramesh Jagothia were charged with criminally conspiring in 1988-89 to murder Wadia, then chairman of Bombay Dyeing.

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