Fourteen years after police booked three accused for the charges of murder and dacoity, a Delhi court has acquitted them saying that the testimony of the prosecution’s sole eye witness was “highly doubtful.” The judge granted relief to the trio, who were accused of murdering two people, while committing dacoity in July 2008 at Lajpat Nagar in South East Delhi.
The court observed that since the reported eye witness was also an accused in the same police station in another case, it was possible that police “planted” him as an eye witness.
“In the instant case, I have no hesitation in holding that prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of accused beyond all reasonable doubts in view of doubtful testimony of an eyewitness. Therefore, all the accused deserve to be acquitted in the instant case,” Additional Sessions Judge Anuj Agarwal said.
The judge said that the testimony of the eyewitness about the entire incident, including the assailants who had shot dead the victims, was not of “sterling or unimpeachable quality.” “The conduct in not informing the police or extending a helping hand to the victims after the incident is quite unnatural. There are inherent contradictions in his deposition,” the judge said.
Also, the witness did not narrate the exact role of each accused and his identification of the accused was doubtful as the spot of the incident was dark, the judge said.
The judge noted that it was not clear how the Investigating Officer (IO) ascertained the identity of the eye witness and said, “The inscrutable knowledge of the IO about Sanjeev Gupta being an eye witness remained a mystery which could not be unfolded during the course of the present trial. This puts the prosecution version under the cloud.” The prosecution’s entire case was based on Gupta’s testimony and once it was discarded, “the case came crumbling down like a pack of cards,” the judge said.
According to the prosecution, the three accused, Om Shivay, Mohammed Nasir, and Mohammed Israel, had allegedly murdered two people, while committing dacoity on July 11, 2008.
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