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A court here has acquitted a mother-son duo of the charges of stealing diamond rings from a jewellery showroom in south Delhi, saying the rings recovered from their possession did not have any “distinctive mark” to establish the store’s ownership.

Metropolitan Magistrate Ashok Kumar, while absolving Ankush Bhatti and his mother Rita of the offences under sections 380 (theft in dwelling house) and 34(common intention) of IPC, held that the police could not prove that the seven rings recovered from their possession belonged to the store.

“There is nothing in the TIP (Test Identification Parade) proceeding as to the reason of identification of the rings by any distinctive marking. Only thing in the seizure memo is that all the rings were marked with brand name.

“This failure to name the distinctive marking is even when a code number is stated to be engraved on any of the brand’s items…Hence, in absence of clear identification of the case property, the same cannot be imputed from the possession of accused persons,” the magistrate said.

The court also refused to rely on the CCTV footage which allegedly showed them exchanging their fake rings with the diamond rings of the store, saying “the in-charge of the CCTVs and the recording has not been produced to prove the footage or that it has not been edited”.

“As per law, electronic evidence can only be proved in the manner given in Evidence Act which has not been done. The complainant has clearly deposed that the hard disk containing CCTV footage was not handed over to the IO. Hence the CCTV footage cannot be relied to prove the presence of accused at the place of incident,” it said.

According to the prosecution, during a regular stock audit on February 23, 2013, the manager of the jewellery store, located in South Extension Part-1 here, found a fake ring in the tray and on checking the CCTV footage, it was revealed that the mother-son duo had committed the theft by exchanging their finger rings with that of the store’s.

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