It is a relief for four tycoons after the High Court set aside a warrant of arrest issued against them by the lower court over allegations of threatening to harm.
Justice Daniel Ogembo also set aside another order issued by Milimani Law Courts Senior Principal Magistrate Kenneth Cheruiyot requiring DCI, Gigiri police station to take over investigations of the alleged threats from Parklands police station.
According to the judge, the two orders which were issued in the month of February 2021 were improper and acted as the judge, investigator and prosecutor.
“I dismissed the assertion that the court acted as the investigator, prosecutor and judge,” Justice Ogembo ruled.
The four businessmen are Ashok Rupshi Shah, Meghji Patel, Nilesh Bhavsharu and Mukesh Rawal.
The complainant, Pareshkumar Keshavji Dodhia, filed an application under a certificate of urgency before the trial court seeking orders to have the four businessmen arrested and charged with among other charges attempted extortion, being in possession of Narcotic Drugs and being in possession of public stores.
According to the judge, the orders of the trial court of 18th February 2021 were improper and ought not to have been issued.The orders of 23rd February 2021, being hinged on the orders of 18th February 2021 insofar as they relate to the execution of orders of 18th February 2021 must also fail.
SPM Cheruiyot had issued arrest warrants against the four and also directed DCI, Gigiri police station to take over investigations from Parklands police station where the complainant had reported threats and intimidation under (OB/33/29/07/2020). Dodhia had told the court that Parklands police station had declined to act on his complaints.
The court heard that the attempted extortion charges were occasioned by the four suspects who jointly and severally used the firearm of Hirji Ramji Patel who is accused of extortion and threatening to harm Dodhia in a separate criminal case.
Patel who is a senior operations manager of Astrol Aviation at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) has been charged with attempting to extort Sh 10 million from Dodhia.
He is also accused of unlawfully being in possession of items which include one walkie talkie make Baofeng, one Ceska pistol, two empty magazines for Ceska pistol, one Hytenra walkie Talkie, one firearm certificate and walkie Talkies make Bestore, Bageng among others.
Patel has since denied charges of attempting to extort Sh 10 million from Dodhia as a pre-condition for helping him to settle an alleged assault case by one Dimple Sumariya dismissed.
He has also denied charges of being in possession of narcotic drugs (27 rolls of cannabis sativa) and being in possession of public stores. Additionally, he is accused of being in possession of government stores namely one smoke military jacket, one pair of handcuffs, one bullet proof vest suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.
According to the prosecution, other charges against the four include extortion, conspiracy to defeat justice and interfering with witnesses.