Mumbai: Observing that there were contradictions in the prosecution evidence, the Bombay High Court has acquitted a retired Army Brigadier and his wife from the charges of running a brothel in the garb of a massage parlour in Pune.
The judgement was delivered recently by Justice PD Kode, who observed that there was no merit in the appeal filed by the State Government against the order of a sessions Court acquitting the duo.
Seventy-two-year-old retired Brigadier Upkarsing Samshersing Arora and his wife Manjeet Kaur, 20 years younger to him and working as a teacher with Kendriya Vidyalaya school in Pune, were found guilty under Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act by Judicial Magistrate First Class on June 15, 1996. Both of them were sentenced to one year rigorous imprisonment with Rs 1,000 fine.
However, on March 13, 1997, the Sessions Court, while hearing an appeal against the judgement, reversed the finding of guilt for commission of such offences by the duo.
Being aggrieved, the state government filed an appeal in the Bombay High Court against the order of the Sessions Court acquitting the duo. This appeal was dismissed recently.
The High Court, on hearing both the sides, agreed with the sessions court order that the prosecution evidence was full of variance of contradictions. The judge opined that in not establishing guilt of respondents beyond the failure of doubt was apparently correct as stated by the lower court and was also based upon proper appreciation of the evidence.
"In the said circumstances, it is difficult to accept the government submission that the appellate court had not properly appreciated the prosecution evidence and without cogent reasons altered the judgement and order of conviction passed by the trial court", Justice Kode observed.
"As a matter of fact, the perusal of the judgement reveals cogent reasons recorded by the appellate court in reversing the finding and setting aside the conviction not warranted upon the prosecution evidence and erroneously arrived at by the trial court," the judge remarked.
Contradictions in the prosecution`s case pointed out by defence lawyer Mukhtar Khan resulted in the acquittal of the duo.