Mumbai: Observing that the evidence fell short of proving the guilt of the accused, the Bombay High Court has acquitted two persons who were earlier convicted by a trial court in a seven-year-old robbery case.
Justice R C Chavan, in a recent order, accepted the defence argument that there was discrepancy in the evidence tendered by witnesses and that four eye-witnesses had categorically refused to identify the accused as the persons who had participated in the robbery.
The judge ordered the release of Rakesh Shetty from jail unless he was wanted in some other case and cancelled the bail bond of another accused Ramachandra Gauda after he found that the evidence did not connect the duo to the crime.
Both of them had been sentenced to jail for a term ranging from one month to seven years by the trial court in 2008, which had found them guilty of committing the robbery.
The duo was also convicted under IPC for criminal trespass and wrongful restraint. Besides, they were also punished under the Arms Act. Being aggrieved, the duo filed appeal in the High Court.
According to the prosecution`s case, Ramnath Pilley, a businessman from South India, used to come to Mumbai often for purchasing garments. On December 27, 2006, he had come to Mumbai with Rs 15 lakh cash and was staying at Adarsha Palace Hotel at Kalbadevi in South Mumbai.
The next day he went to the office of M/s G H Agencies through whom he was making purchases and handed over Rs 15 lakh, which he carried in a brief-case, to Pratik, the office Manager, who kept the money in a drawer in office.
Then Pilley left the place to make more purchases and returned to the office of G H Agencies at 6 pm in the evening.
When he was sitting in the office, a robber allegedly came there and pointed firearm at the head of Pratik. Very soon, another miscreant also joined. They tied up all the persons who were in the office and took away the cash.