Mumbai: A magistrate court recently acquitted two persons arrested in June 2011, for carrying two country-made weapons and live cartridges, saying it appears to be a fabricated case.
The court found several discrepancies and procedural lapses in the investigation. The suspects — Umashankar Gupta and Virendra Jagdish Rai — were arrested near Vidyavihar railway station on June 3, 2011.
During the trial, the prosecution presented five witnesses.However, the court noted inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case, such as absence of seized railway tickets despite claiming the accused were coming from Bihar, confusion regarding issuance of prohibitory order, and failure to call respectable persons as panchas. The court also noted that the sanctioning authority did not personally inspect the firearms and accorded sanction without applying their mind, merely relying on the investigating officer’s (IO) evidence.
The court also criticized the police for their failure to prove the violation of the Bombay Police Act. The prosecution also failed to prove the violation of the Bombay Police Act due to the absence of the police officer who proclaimed the order and only a photocopy of the proclamation order was filed on record, which did not bear the seal and signature of the deputy commissioner of police.
The court, among its several observations, said, “The IO has failed to record statements of an independent witness. Therefore, it appears to be a fabricated case. Defence lawyer Aftab Qureshi pointed several lacunas in the police theory. Evidence suggests that the FIR was lodged before the completion of the seizure panchnama, which raises doubts about the informant’s presence at the spot during the raid.”
“There is a discrepancy in the description of firearms. As per the case of prosecution, the country-made ‘Katta’ was recovered. But as per the evidence of ballistic experts, he examined country-made handguns. The original report is not available on record. The report is the opinion of his subordinate. In cross examination, he has admitted that the report was given as per the wish of IO. Therefore, it is not clear what articles were seized from the possession of the accused and which were sent to the FSL for examination,” the court stated.

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