Man held for attacking jailor acquitted as HC doubts evidence
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has acquitted a person of the charges of attempting to murder a jailor of Thane Central Prison on the ground that the evidence given by the victim was "doubtful".
On December 28, 1988, when jailor Bhagwan Jagtap was in the verandah of his official home, three persons came in a car and shot at him before running away, charging that he had ill-treated prisoners.
An injured Jagtap informed another jailor about the attack, saying unidentified persons had shot at him.
However, during the trial, he named appellant Prabhakar Mane and two other accused for firing at him. While one of them was acquitted, the appellant and another accused were convicted for attempting to murder the jailor.
While Mane chose to appeal, the other convicts did not.
After the attack, the jailor was rushed to a hospital in an injured condition and 105 pellets were removed from his right palm.
Jagtap alleged the appellant was in Thane jail three months prior to the incident. At that time, he had slapped the appellant and scolded him for a scuffle in jail.
According to Jagtap, the appellant, who was released from prison thereafter, attacked him along with two others.
Justice R C Chavan held that Jagtap himself had stated that three shots were fired at him with the interval of one second each, which made him flee inside his house. Hence, it is doubtful whether he would have enough opportunity to see the miscreants.
The court also pointed out that the jailor had himself stated that he had only informed another jailor about the attack who had said in his deposition that Jagtap had informed him that some unknown persons had attacked him. Thus, he had not named the appellant and other accused.
"The arguments show that the opportunity which the victim may have had to see the miscreants was too short and therefore unless there is some unimpeachable evidence to show that identification of the appellant by Jagtap is reliable, this evidence in itself would not be sufficient to hold the appellant guilty," the judge said in a recent judgement while quashing seven years sentence awarded to him.
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