MUMBAI: Observing that prima facie case is made out against gangster Arun Gawli's wife and politician Asha Gawli after the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) booked the couple and others for misappropriating Rs 1.77 crore from the corpus to be distributed among ex-employees of a private company as directed by the Bombay high court, a sessions court refused her plea to be discharged from the case.
The court said 52-year-old Asha, vice-president of Akhil Bhartiya Sena, was privy to the conspiracy. "Considering facts of the case, prima facie case is made out against accused Asha Gawali and no case is made out that the charges against accused to be groundles," special judge S U Wadgaonkar said.
Asha Gawli had moved a revision application before sessions court in 2017 after a magistrate court rejected her plea for discharge.
Special public prosecutor Pradip Gharat submitted that in a litigation pending before the HC between M/s Globe Auto Electricals Ltd and its employees, in lieu of the consent terms, Rs 4 crore was given to Akhil Bharatiya Kamgar Sena to distribute among 469 employees. It was further submitted that while Arun Gawli was president, another accused Sunil Kalekar is treasurer. The prosecution submitted that the accused misappropriated Rs 1.77 crore. It was further alleged that out of this amount, Rs 50 lakh was diverted to the account of Shiv Shambho Narayan Trust and thereafter utilized by the accused. It was submitted that another accused, Viijay Gawli, is its trustee.
Asha Gawli's advocate denied allegations and submitted that material relied on by prosecution indicated the employees approached Arun Gawli for help voluntarily and agreed for deduction of all expenses that may be incurred, including expenses for litigation. The court said evidence indicated around 150 bearer cheques were prepared in favour of different persons and were signed by accused Arun and Asha Gawli. Those cheques were encashed through employees of Akhil Bhartiya Sena and amount withdrawn from bank was given to accused.