The deposition of David Headley in the 26/11 terror attack case, lifting of ban on entry of women in the Haji Ali dargah and Shani shrine in Shingnapur and the Sheena Bora case kept courts in Maharashtra busy in 2016.
Other cases which hogged the limelight during the year gone by were the high court decision allowing the release of “Udta Punjab” which was embroiled in a battle with the censor board and bail to Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in a defamation case over his alleged comment against RSS on Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination.
On May 14, NIA filed charge sheet in the Malegoan 2006 case giving a clean chit to sadhvi Pragya Thakur and five others in the 2008 Malegaon blast case while charges under the stringent MCOCA law were given up against all the other 10 accused including Lt Col Prasad Shrikant Purohit.
Delhi Chief minister Arvind Kejriwal appeared in a city court in connection with a case for holding a rally in Mumbai without required permissions.
Gangster Chhota Rajan, who was extradited from a foreign country earlier, was named in a charge sheet in the journalist J Dey murder case.
Headley, the Pakistani-American Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist, deposed in a Mumbai court in February through video conference from an undisclosed location in US as a witnesses in the 26/11 Mumbai attack case in which he had turned approver. Headley, who is in a US prison following conviction in a terror case, was examined and later cross-examined for over 10 days during which he supported the prosecution’s case describing how LeT had plotted the 26/11 attack.
Former minister Chhagan Bhujbal was arrested under PMLA in a case of alleged corruption. The Bombay High court rejected his bail and Habeas Corpus petition challenging his arrest.
In a victory for women, the Bombay High Court lifted the ban imposed on women from entering the sanctum sanctorum of Haji Ali dargah saying it contravenes fundamental rights and the trust has no right to prohibit entry of women into a public place of worship.
In a similar case, the high court said no law prevents women from entering a place of worship and if men are allowed then women too should be permitted to enter the Shani Shingnapur temple in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district.
The high court during the year ordered demolition of the 31-storey scam-tainted Adarsh apartment in the heart of Mumbai and sought criminal proceedings against politicians and bureaucrats for “misuse” of powers, holding that the tower was illegally constructed.
The demolition order was stayed for 12 weeks to enable the society to appeal in Supreme Court.
In a major setback to BCCI, the high court, on April 13, ordered shifting of IPL matches to be held in Maharashtra after April 30 to another state considering the severe drought situation in the state.
In a twist to the sensational Sheena Bora case where former media baron Peter Mukerjea, his wife Indrani Mukerjea and her former husband Sanjeev Khanna are accused, driver of Indrani Shyamvar Rai turned approver. Besides, Peter’s bail was rejected by the trial court and the high court. Sheena was daughter of Indrani from her first husband Sanjeev.