Eight persons, who were tried in connection with alleged abduction of a 17-year-old college boy from Navi Mumbai in 2010, have been acquitted by a court.
Thane Additional Sessions Judge A S Waghwase found the accused not guilty after prosecution failed to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the purported crime was committed by them. They were set free yesterday on benefit of doubt.
The accused were tried under sections 364(A), 387, 504 and 506 of the IPC. According to prosecutor Buleshwar Hinge, student Ashish Kanojia left his house in Nerul on August 7, 2010 for his college and never returned home. His parents searched for him and later filed a missing complaint with police. A day after, his father Ramtilak, a material supplier, received a call from the accused demanding Rs. 1 crore ransom for his son’s release.
He thereafter received repeated calls from the accused for the ransom, which was finally settled at Rs. 7 lakh.
Ramtilak was asked to come near Raghuleela Mall on August 10, 2010. When the complainant reached the specified spot, three of the accused were nabbed by police officers who had laid a trap, the court was told.
The arrested three led police to three others who were waiting at Mhape following which they too were apprehended, Hinge said.
Further probe revealed that the boy was held captive in in Pune from where he was rescued and two more people were arrested. A total of eight persons were arrested.
However, counsel for the accused, Baba Shaikh pointed out to the court that these persons were never arrested from near Raghuleela Mall. In fact, they were picked up a couple of days back by police to cover up the case, he alleged.
Shaikh also argued that if police had nabbed three men in a crowded place at Vashi as stated by them on that day, then why did not they examine even a single witness from among the onlookers or citizens as independent witnesses.
The police had examined only their officers whose deposition were also contradictory, he pointed out.
Shaikh also brought to the notice of the court that no identification parade of the arrested accused was held and submitted that the arrested were not at all involved in the case.
Several flaws in the case led the court to decide in favour of the accused, who were finally let off by the court.