Dawood Ibrahim will return to India only if conditions met: lawyer

Thane: Fugitive mafia don Dawood Ibrahim is willing to come to India but with certain preconditions, his brother Iqbal Kaskar’s lawyer Shyam Keswani told a Mumbai court on Tuesday. 

Renowned criminal lawyer Shyam Keswani said Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar had offered to return to India provided the authorities ensure that he is lodged only in the high-secure precincts of Arthur Road Central Jail (ARCJ) in Mumbai and nowhere else during the trial period. 

Talking to the media outside the Thane Court, where he represented Iqbal Kaskar (Dawood's brother), the lawyer said the preconditions laid down by Dawood are not acceptable to the Indian government.

“In fact, he had expressed his intent very clearly to senior counsel Ram Jethmalani (former union minister and eminent lawyer). But the government refused to accept his conditional return and till this day, Dawood has not been arrested,’’ said lawyer Shyam Keswani. 

Kaskar was produced in the court of chief judicial magistrate RV Thamadekar on Tuesday by Thane police for extension of his custody in an extortion case.

The anti-extortion unit of Thane police named Kaskar and his brother Dawood and Anees for threatening a builder at Mumbai's Mira Road. 

The ARCJ is the same prison where the Pakistani terrorist Ajmal Kasab was lodged for nearly four years till his hanging for his involvement in the 2008 Mumbai terror attack.

The statement of lawyer Shyam Keswani on Dawood's desire to return comes a little after six months when Maharashtra Navnirman Sena President Raj Thackeray made a similar revelation in Mumbai.

In his explosive remarks, Raj Thackeray had claimed that not only was Dawood keen to come back but he was reportedly negotiating a 'settlement' with the Narendra Modi-government.

Also Read: Dawood negotiating with Centre for his return: MNS chief Raj Thackeray

Raj Thackrey also said that Dawood was very sick and wanted to breathe his last in India.

The chief judicial magistrate, on a lighter note, asked Kaskar if he has any kind of fear and knew about the whereabouts of his other family members and that he should share the information with the police. Kaskar response was a terse ‘No’. 

The chief judicial magistrate then asked Kaskar if he had spoken to Dawood in recent times. The court went silent for a moment. Kaskar replied that he was not aware about his brother’s location. Kaskar, however, said he did talk to Dawood on mobile phone, but his number was never displayed and so he was not aware about his whereabouts.

At this moment, Kaskar’s counsel Keswani stood up and told the court that Dawood wanted to return to India and Jethmalani had conveyed it to the government. 

Keswani added that after Kaskar was deported from Dubai in 2003, he brought him in front of court and it was only then that the law enforcement agency came to know of Kaskar’s identity.

Keswani informed the court that his client is suffering from diabetics and necessary medical treatment should be made available to him. The court directed the investigators to take Kaskar to Thane Civil Hospital.

Kaskar was sent to police custody till Friday by the court on Tuesday in a land-grab and extortion case filed against him by the Thane Anti-Extortion Cell (AEC).

At least two others wanted in this case - Bhavar Kothar and Bharat Jain -- are absconding, said AEC chief Pradeep Sharma.

Opposing the police custody of Kaskar, currently in judicial custody for other cases, lawyer Keswani said it was puzzling when the crime was committed since his client (Iqbal) has been in police and judicial custody in Thane since his arrest on September 19 from Mumbai.

It is the same case in which the police, for the first time, have shown the three Kaskar siblings - Dawood, Anees (both absconding) and Iqbal - as accused.

The case pertains to alleged extortion of Rs 3 crore from a builder in a deal involving a 38-acre plot of land worth crores of rupees in Gorai, a coastal village in south-west Thane.

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