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Man accused of murder, robbery acquitted on benefit of doubt


Thane : A 34-year-old man who was accused of robbery and murder of a senior citizen, has been acquitted by a Thane court which gave him benefit of doubt.

Thane District Judge V V Bambarde held that the prosecution miserably failed to prove the charges under IPC sections 397 (robbery, or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt) and 302 (murder) against Anil Shripati Raybole, a labourer residing in the city’s Lokmanyanagar area.

According to the prosecution, on December 12, 2012, the accused entered the house of 70-year-old victim Maya Bahulekar in Chendani area of Thane East when no one else was there.

When another woman came there to keep some goods, the accused passed some lewd remarks on her, to which the victim objected, it had said.

After the other woman left the place, the accused allegedly hit Maya fatally with a hammer and fled after snatching her gold chain, the prosecution had said.

Arguing for the accused, his counsel Ramrao Jagtap had said that his client was falsely implicated in the case. He had also submitted that the so-called recovery of the hammer was from a public place.

After hearing both the sides, the judge noted that the prosecution has not clarified that if anybody visited the house of Maya between around 9 PM to 10 PM on that day. According to some witnesses, the accused left the place at around 9 PM and her son came home at 10 PM.

The prosecution also failed to prove seizure of the gold chain from the accused, the court said, adding that the seizure of hammer was also not established by the prosecution. The prosecution also failed to prove that the clothes of the accused had Maya’s blood on it, as her blood group report was “inconclusive”, it said.

“All this casts doubt on the prosecution story that the accused robbed the woman and killed her while robbing her. The circumstantial evidence is incomplete and doubtful. Since robbery is not established, no intention can be attributed to the accused for killing Maya,” the judge observed recently while acquitting the accused of all charges.

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