A 30-year-old man, accused of raping and murdering a minor girl in 2011, has been acquitted by a local court on the benefit of doubt.
Additional Sessions Judge M C Khadke in the order delivered yesterday let off Dashrath Rampat Yadav saying that prosecution has failed to prove the charges against him beyond reasonable doubt.
According to Additional Pubic Prosecutor Hemlata Deshmukh, Yadav – a mechanic – had allegedly abducted, raped and murdered a 9-year-old girl on June 22, 2011.
It was prosecution’s case that Yadav kidnapped and raped the girl and later murdered her by strangulation.
He had allegedly stuffed her body into a loudspeaker box and dumped it in Yeoor jungles on the outskirts of Thane.
The case was investigated by Vartak Nagar police.
The prosecution had initially booked Yadav under sections 376 (2)(f) (raping woman under age of 12 years), 302 (murder), 342 (wrongful confinement) and 201 (disappearance of evidence) of the Indian Penal Code.
Later additional charges under sections of kidnapping were slapped against Yadav.
After the addition of charges, the prosecution had sought permission from the court to produce two witnesses — the victim’s mother and another woman, who last saw the accused and the victim together.
However, the court refused, saying, “Even if the request of the prosecution is considered in the light of section 311 of the CrPC … It will result in causing serious prejudice to the defence of the accused. If the discretion is used in favour of the prosecution it will result in miscarriage of justice. Therefore no question of even considering the request to call prosecution witnesses.”
Yadav’s counsel Ramrao Jagtap argued that prosecution has failed to prove the “last seen together” theory.
He said police did not record the statement of victim’s mother and had also failed to seize the second loudspeaker box from the house of the accused during search.
Deshmukh told that they would challenge the order in the High Court.