Friday, July 26, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Dutt caught on tape talking to Shakeel

Mumbai, July 25
A witness in the Bharat Shah case today identified the voices of actor Sanjay Dutt, producer Harish Sughand and directors Sanjay Gupta and Mahesh Manjrekar on a cassette containing transcripts of a telephonic conversation that they allegedly had with Gulf-based don Chhota Shakeel in the winter of 2000.

The cassette, played before Judge A.P. Bhangale, presiding over the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act court, allegedly contains a 45-minute conversation between the four accused and Shakeel. They are alleged to have made the telephone call to the gangster on November 14, 2000, from Hotel Taj Presidency, Nasik.

The cassette was yesterday identified by this fourth ‘panch’ witness as one of the articles recovered by the police after a raid on the office and residential premises of film producer Nazim Rizvi, a co-accused in the case along with film financier Bharat Shah.

Replying to the examination by public prosecutor Rohini Salian, the ‘panch’ witness confirmed that as per the recorded conversation in the transcripts provided by the MTNL, the film personalities were talking about the extortion money demanded from an actress.

Since the witness felt unwell, the court was adjourned early. Cross-examination would continue tomorrow. UNI

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