Eight years after an auto driver was accused of murdering his partner and destroying evidence, a sessions court acquitted him last Saturday. Pointing to several loopholes in the probe, the court said it unhesitatingly holds that no reliable evidence has been produced to establish the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
The man had secured bail a few months after his arrest. As per the Santacruz police station’s case, Durgalal Yadav, an auto driver, had an affair with one Shivbachan Vishwakarma alias Manoj. Relations between them soured due to frequent quarrels. Vishwakarma allegedly sent vulgar messages to Yadav and even his friends and relatives. This eventually led to Yadav killing him by hitting him with beer bottles and a heavy stone. Vishwakarma’s body was found with multiple injuries in a pit in Juhu Koliwada on September 6, 2013. The police had claimed that Yadav had absconded after the crime to his native and also confessed to his brother on a call. He allegedly purchased beer from a particular wine shop for the crime.
The court said in its judgment that while the wine shop owner was examined, who stated that the bottle was indeed sold from his shop, he had not stated who had purchased it. It said CCTV footage would have been the best evidence to prove that the accused had bought it, but that is missing in the prosecution’s evidence. “Omission to produce CCTV footage, which is the best evidence, raises serious doubts on the prosecution case,” Additional sessions judge DE Kothalikar said. The investigating officer had told the court during cross-examination that he had perused the footage, but not made it a part of the chargesheet. The court said the fact remains that he has not assigned a reason for not sending it with the chargesheet.
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