Akola: A local court has acquitted three youths accused of murder after it was found that the case pertains to mistaken identity and the "victim" is alive.
Sessions court Judge P C Bavaskar in his recent judgement found Ranjeet Thotange (25), Atul Kanoje (24) and Mahesh Korat (21) not guilty while observing that police booked the trio in a haste and father of the "victim" erred in identifying his daughter who was believed to have been killed by the trio.
The youths are residents of Pimpri Modak village under Dhanaj police station limits in Washim district bordering Akola.
The case dates back to November 25, 2011 when Sonu alias Vaishali Rathod (25) went missing after she had left her home.
Police arrested Thotange, Kanoje and Korat on the complaint of Sonu`s father Tara Singh, who had seen her with them before her mysterious disappearance, and booked them under sections 363 and 366 of IPC for kidnapping.
On January 9, 2012, an unidentified body of a young girl was found in Isapur Shivar under Mana police station in Akola district.
As Tara Singh claimed that the dead body was of his daughter Sonu, police slapped sections of murder against the trio.
A chargesheet was filed and the case came for trial before the sessions court.
Meanwhile, the DNA of the dead girl and Tara Singh did not match.
However, Sonu, who had been missing, returned home six months after the youths were booked for her murder.
Advocate Dildar Khan, who represented the youths, brought this to the notice of the court and argued that it was a case of mistaken identity and police slapped the murder charge on the trio in a haste.
Advocate Subhash Kate argued on the behalf of prosecution.