A sessions court has acquitted two men, a 49-year-old and another 25-year-old, after they spent five years in prison in a fake currency trafficking case, as it found that there was no reliable evidence against them.
Suleiman Shaikh (49), a resident of Navi Mumbai and Sanaul Shaikh (25) from Wadibunder, both natives of West Bengal had been accused of being agents of two wanted men.
The latter had allegedly smuggled counterfeit currency notes from abroad and Suleiman and Sanaul were said to be trafficking it through their network of other agents in Mumbai and other Indian cities.
The crime branch had claimed that they had found fake currency of Rs. 2,000 denominations amounting to Rs. 1.2 lakhs from the possession of each of them.
It was alleged that Suleiman had taken the police to his home in Navi Mumbai from where some currency was recovered and thereafter, to Masjid Bunder, where he had made payment using fake currency to a dryfruits shopkeeper.
The court noted that Suleiman was handcuffed when he made certain statements and, also when he was taken to several places for recovery of fake currency. It cannot be said that his statement is voluntary, the court said. It added that hence, the evidence of Suleiman concerning the recovery of the alleged counterfeit currency is not acceptable.
Additional Sessions Judge BD Shelke said that in the case, “overzealous” efforts have been made by the prosecution to link the accused to the alleged counterfeit currency notes, but there is no cogent and reliable evidence in respect of the recovery of the counterfeit currency.
No evidence came on record showing that the duo procured the counterfeit currency from the wanted accused, it stated.
The court noted that the two are undertrial prisoners and directed that they be released from prison immediately in the case.