Food ministry employee acquitted in 22-year-old case

A man, who was employed as a cashier in the Ministry of Food, was acquitted by a Delhi court of the charge of criminal breach of trust in a 22-year- old case of misappropriation of over Rs 1.4 lakh.

New Delhi:A man, who was employed as a cashier in the Ministry of Food, was acquitted by a Delhi court of the charge of criminal breach of trust in a 22-year- old case of misappropriation of over Rs 1.4 lakh.

Metropolitan magistrate Akash Jain gave the benefit of doubt to Karol Bagh resident D C Jajoria in the case holding that possibility of fabrication or manipulation cannot be ruled out.

"There are contradictions in testimonies of prosecution witnesses as to amount of cash found in chest. Also, the testimonies of all the prosecution witnesses regarding alleged dishonest appropriation of property/ cash by the accused are hearsay and are not supported with any documentary evidence," the court said.

"... Since, the keys of cash chest remained in possession of officials other than accused all this while, possibility of fabrication or manipulation cannot be ruled out and benefit of doubt in such contingency has to be accorded to the accused," it said.

The court held that the prosecution has failed to prove the culpability of Jajoria beyond reasonable doubts and acquitted him due to lack of evidence.

According to the prosecution, a case was registered by an official of Ministry of Food at Parliament Street Police Station on April 6, 1992, alleging that Jajoria was entrusted with the money of cash chest as a cashier and he committed criminal breach of trust in respect of the money to the tune of around Rs 1,40,888.

One of the witnesses, who was also an official in the Ministry, told the court that on April 6, 1992, Jajoria had handed over the chest keys to him and had gone home early on the pretext that his wife was unwell.

He, however, did not come to office after that and after two days, when the chest was opened by a committee, around Rs four lakh was found in it and there was a shortage of Rs 1.19 lakh, the witness had said.

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