“The edifice of the prosecution case crumbles and collapses mainly due to two reasons — insufficiency and inappropriateness of the evidence,” special CBI judge S P Naik-Nimbalkar said.
Lack of facts failed to prove motive in Wadia case: Court
The detailed judgment copy on the acquittal of two men, Ivan Sequeira and co-accused Ramesh Jagothia, in the Nusli Wadia murder conspiracy case says that probable proof suggesting direct involvement of higher-ups of Reliance Industries directing the (now-deceased) accused Kirti Ambani, then general manager of the public relations department of Reliance Industries Ltd , to execute such a plan was not part of the prosecution’s evidence.
The prosecution had alleged that RIL and Bombay Dyeing were the main players in the field of manufacturing polyester in India at that time and that the criminal conspiracy is the outcome of corporate rivalry.
In the 97-page detailed judgment copy, special CBI judge S P Naik-Nimbalkar said, “None of the witnesses examined has stated to that effect to demonstrate the fact that the accused no 1 (Kirti) was instructed by his company, directly or indirectly, to plan a conspiracy to commit murder of PW (prosecution witness) 39 (Nusli Wadia),” the judge said.
The court said that in the absence of substantial facts and circumstances proved in this case, the motive cannot be ascertained and attributed to the alleged acts of accused.
While Sequeira and Jagothia were pronounced not guilty on Thursday, the case against two others, Kirti and his alleged associate and musician Arjun Babaria, was abated as they died during the pendency of the trial.
The prosecution alleged that the conspiracy was hatched somewhere in November 1988 . The plan was to intercept Wadia’s car and commit murder. Sequeira was allegedly shown Wadia’s photograph and a huge sum of money was agreed to be paid.
However, the conspiracy did not materialise. Kirti Ambani and Babaria were arrested in July 1989, after police detected the alleged conspiracy.
The judge, however, said that possession of firearms was not proved.