18 ac­quit­ted in po­lice sta­tion ri­ot­ing case

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - Live - - THANE -

THANE: A lo­cal court has ac­quit­ted all 18 peo­ple in a 2006 case of ri­ot­ing and at­tack on a po­lice post in Bhi­wandi town here.

District Judge AS Bhais­are ob­served that the prose­cu­tion failed to prove the charges against all the ac­cused and gave them ben­e­fit of doubt.

The 18 were tried for of­fences un­der IPC sec­tions 143, 147, 148, 335, 336, 395, 397, 427 read with 149, and rel­e­vant sec­tions of the Bom­bay Po­lice Act and Preven­tion of De­struc­tion of Pub­lic Prop­erty Act.

Ad­di­tional pub­lic prose­cu­tor Dilip Bahi­ram told the court that on July 5, 2006, the mob pelted stones at a po­lice sta­tion which was be­ing con­structed at Koter­gate in Bhi­wandi and tried to de­mol­ish it.

The mob en­tered the post and broke lug­gage boxes of SRPF per­son­nel and robbed them of cash, ATM cards, iden­tity cards and threw away the goods and set them on fire.

Around 24 wit­nesses were ex­am­ined by the prose­cu­tion dur­ing the trial.

Ad­vo­cate Dhanan­jay Patil, ap­pear­ing for the ac­cused, con­tested the al­le­ga­tions and told the court that his clients were in­no­cent and not in­volved in the crime. He, how­ever, did not pro­duce any wit­ness in sup­port of the de­fence.

Re­ject­ing the prose­cu­tion’s ver­sion, Judge Bhais­are noted that two ma­te­rial (key) wit­nesses are not ex­am­ined by the prose­cu­tion, for rea­sons best known to them. The ma­te­rial ev­i­dence against the ac­cused is miss­ing.

None of the wit­nesses iden­ti­fied the ac­cused in iden­ti­fi­ca­tion pa­rade, as it was not con­ducted by ex­ec­u­tive mag­is­trate. Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of ac­cused be­fore court and po­lice sta­tion can­not be said to be suf­fi­cient, he ob­served.

From the prose­cu­tion’s story, it can safely be in­ferred that the mob had at­tacked the po­lice post. But, there is no ev­i­dence on record that the ac­cused per­sons were re­spon­si­ble for the same, the judge noted.

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