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Two auto-rickshaw drivers acquitted in murder case

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Thane : A local court has acquitted two auto rickshaw drivers in a murder case, giving them the benefit of doubt.

District Judge V V Bambarde, in his recent order, acquitted Dilip Mandal (32) and Kishore Mandal (22), residents of suburban Santacruz, of charges of killing Raju Mandal on January 1, 2014.

The Judge ruled that the prosecution “miserably failed to prove the guilt” under IPC sections 302 (murder), 201 (dishonestly making false claim in court) against the accused, and hence, they are being acquitted.

Additional Public Prosecution (APP) Sanjay Londhe told the court that the accused had stabbed and then strangulated to death the victim and dumped his body on a road near the Versova bridge in Andheri.

The APP further said victim, Raju was in a extra-marital relationship with his cousin, Dilip’s wife and had circulated one of his online chats with his paramour on a messaging app, which subsequently reached Dilip.

On January 1, 2014, Dilip murdered Raju in cold blood by strangulating him with a muffler and was assisted by co-accused, Kishore. The duo then dumped the body near a road in Versova, Londhe said.

Defence counsel Gajanan Chavan, appearing on behalf of the accused, contested that the duo had nothing to do with the offence and that the prosecution failed to prove the chain of events, and hence, they be set free.

The Judge in his order noted, “Prosecution has established that Raju was found dead. But it has not established chain that accused were with deceased, Raju, they took him to scene of offence, they threw him.”

“Prosecution failed to establish that there was any play of mobile conversation which lead to kill Raju. It also failed to show that the accused no.2 (Kishore Mandal) abetted accused no.1 (Dilip Mandal) in killing,” the Judge further said.

“Similarly, there is no evidence that accused had tried to destroy evidence. So prosecution failed to establish chain,” the court observed.

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