Three persons accused of murdering a youth in Bhiwandi taluka here have been acquitted by the district court which gave them benefit of doubt following a six-year trial in the case.
District Judge V V Bambarde observed that the prosecution failed to prove the charges under IPC sections 302 (murder) read with 34 (acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention) and section 27 of the Arms Act against the three persons – Kalidas Balaram Thale (26), Kaluram Sudam Pawar (39) and Indrajeet Yashwant Masane (21).
District government pleader Sangita E Phad, appearing for the prosecution, told the court that the three men, from Lonad in Bhiwandi, had on February 25, 2010, brutally killed Shivaji Kumbhar and dumped his body at village Goyanka in Padgha under Bhiwandi taluka.
The prosecutor also submitted that the deceased and the accused had previous enmity over which they killed the youth, whose body bore multiple stab wounds.
However, defence counsels Gajanan Chavan and Munir Ahmed challenged the prosecution version and told the court that the arrested persons were innocent and they had been roped in the case merely on suspicion, and hence they need to be acquitted.
Besides citing several court rulings, the defence also said that the evidence of investigation officer shows that he had to drop names of two other suspects, mentioned by the deceased’s father, from the case.
It also come to light that the accused Kalidas is physically challenged and not able to run fast. The deceased was strong and well built and could have overpowered one or two persons. It has also come in the evidence that the family of deceased had dispute with several villagers and they suspected involvement of some of them in the murder, the defence counsels further told the court.
The judge observed that the case is totally based on circumstantial evidence.Cardinal principles regarding the appreciation of circumstantial evidence have been postulated.
He noted that the prosecution failed to show that the accused were near the spot of the murder. The prosecution also failed to establish that there was any voluntary contention by accused Kalidas Thale. Simply enmity will not drag the accused in the killing.
Similarly, it seems that the accused are implicated on mere suspicion. So, the prosecution failed to establish chain of circumstances leading to the guilt of accused, the judge observed while acquitting the three recently.
( Source – PTI )