A local court has acquitted three persons in a 2008 murder case, saying the test identification parade done by an executive magistrate is “not free from doubt” and cannot be relied upon to hold them guilty.
District Judge A S Bhaisare, in his judgement pronounced recently, acquitted the three accused — Rajkumar Patil (38), Vikas Aaldar (27) and Yogesh Mhatre (28) — all residents of Kharghar in Navi Mumbai.
Additional Public Prosecutor (APP) Dileep Bahiram told the court that victim Raju alias Rizwan (35) was travelling to Panvel for some work in a taxi along with his two friends on July 18, 2008.
“Midway, near the Vashi toll naka, a white car tried to overtake the taxi but could not as the taxi driver raced ahead. Later, the car managed to traverse ahead of the taxi and intercepted it. Four persons got out of the car and started abusing Raju and also manhandled him,” the APP said.
Raju then retaliated, following which the accused attacked him with sharp weapons. He later succumbed during treatment, the court was told.
In his judgement, the judge observed that identification parade carried out by the Executive Magistrate at the Thane Central Jail was ambiguous as the two witnesses separately identified the three accused in the same order.
Therefore, identification parade is not free from doubt.
“Eye witnesses to the incident have not supported to the prosecution. No witnesses from toll naka were examined by the prosecution and no CCTV camera footage from the toll naka were obtained. There were other vehicles at toll naka. However, no independent witnesses were examined,” the judge observed.
The court also said that no cell phone tower location of the accused persons were located at the spot or nearby the spot at the relevant time.
“Therefore, merely from the evidence of Executive Magistrate, who had conducted identification parade of the accused, it is not sufficient to hold the accused guilty,” the judge said.
The case was tried under IPC sections 302 (murder) and relevant sections of Bombay Police Act.