Sixteen years after an employee of Super Bazar in Connaught Place and his friend were arrested on the charge of theft of 210 shawls, a city court acquitted them after the police failed to produce the stolen goods despite repeated directions.
“The case property has never been produced in court. In the absence of non-production of case property, no offence can be attributed,” said Metropolitan Magistrate Sudesh Kumar.
The police have alleged that Padam Sharma, as an employee of Super Bazaar, stole the shawls and left the stolen goods at the residence of Kamlesh Chauhan.
The police claimed to have recovered 183 shawls.
The court noted that the prosecution had failed in the identification of the case property for several years despite repeated directions issued in this regard.
The court said whether the accused persons received or retained the stolen products have always remained a question during the trial spanning over 16 years.
The prosecution contended that the shawls were deposited with Sanjay Sehgal, marketing officer with H.P Handloom Weavers Apex Co-operative Society with a showroom inside the Super Bazaar complex.
“The case property has never been produced in the court and it has never been identified by any of the witnesses,” said the judge.
The court observed that whether the case property is the same as the one recovered from the accused was one of the basic ingredients to prove an offence against the accused persons, but it was never proved.
The judge pulled up the prosecution stating that despite repeated summons were sent to Sanjay Sehgal for production of case property, the summons were unserved at all times, and the case property was never produced in the court.
“It is clear that the prosecution has totally failed to prove the guilt of the accused persons beyond reasonable doubt. Accordingly, I acquit the accused persons for the offence,” said the judge.