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Observing that “regretfully, notwithstanding a young life being snuffed at the prime…we are constrained to extend the benefit of doubt to the appellants (accused),” the Delhi High Court has acquitted six accused who were convicted by the trial court for allegedly kidnapping and later murdering an 18-year-old boy when his businessman father failed to fulfil a Rs. 50,00,000 ransom demand.

A Division Bench of the Court acquitted them as it reached a considered opinion that no angles — chance finger prints lifted from the car in which the boy was travelling before being kidnapped, examination of the voice calls of the accused to verify the ransom calls, recovery of the jewellery and watch worn by the victim and the recovery of the ransom note from the possession of one of the accused — of the case probed by the Delhi Police had the credible evidence to prove them beyond reasonable doubt.

“The fulcrum of the case of the prosecution is rested on a taint and thus the subsequent material gathered, which we may call the lever, is hardly of any help to the prosecution to lift the weight of the evidence led by the prosecution to achieve the standard of proof beyond reasonable doubt,” the Bench said while acquitting the six accused.

The accused person had kidnapped the boy from Kirti Nagar in West Delhi on his way back home to Janakpuri from the office of the father in 1995. The alleged kidnappers hand demanded a ransom of Rs. 50,00,000 from the father of the boy. They had abandoned the car near a school after kidnapping the boy and thrown the body into the Gang Nahar in Muradnagar in Uttar Pradesh.

Regretfully, notwithstanding a young life being snuffed at the prime, but keeping in view the evidence led at the trial, we are constrained to extend the benefit of doubt to the appellants and thus the above captioned appeals are allowed. The appellants are acquitted of the charge framed against them,” the Bench said.

The six had filed appeals against their conviction by the trial court.

(Source:The Hindu)

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