Kolhapur: Observing that it was shocked with the case of seven persons, including a doctor, a tailor, an engineer and a civil services aspirant, booked for dacoity, a sessions court in Kolhapur recently discharged them.
The court relied upon the fact that the Director General of Police (DGP) of the state had also ordered an inquiry against the local crime branch (LCB) officers from Kolhapur.
Additional Sessions Judge PG Bhosale in Kolhapur court discharged Surendra Jaiswal (an Ayurvedic doctor practicing at Kalwa, Thane), Vasuram Jaiswar (a tailor), Sanjay Sharma (a farmer), and Shashi Sharma (an MA in Philosophy, who was preparing for Civil Services exams).
The judge was also seized with pleas filed by a driver and a social activist.
While the prosecution claimed that the seven men had been to Kolhapur in 2017 with a plan to loot moving vehicles, the accused had contended that they were visiting the Mahalakshmi temple. The accused, through their advocate Aditya Mishra, contended that they do not have any criminal antecedents.
Mishra pointed out that his clients had checked in a local hotel and after visiting the temple had been out for sightseeing in the night.
The local cops from the LCB intercepted their vehicles and allegedly demanded Rs 1 lakh from each of them but they refused to do so. The cops then allegedly threatened them to implicate in false cases.
In his submissions, Mishra highlighted that his clients were kept in illegal custody for two days and despite no wrong on their part they were forced to languish in the prison.
Noting the facts of the case, the judge said, “This incident has shocked me, hurt me. I am deeply pained by the atrocities committed by the complainant LCB officers of Kolhapur against the accused. They have not even considered that these accused are professionals.”
“The only point that falsifies the prosecution case is that the complainant has alleged that the police had received the information about the activities of the accused on June 10, 2017 at midnight. If this is the fact, then how the news about the arrest of the accused is published in the newspapers on June 9, 2017,” Judge Bhosale wondered.