A businessman's wait for justice finally came to an end after 25 years. In October 1985, seventeen-year-old Rawail Singh started his export and import. In November, Customs officials arrested Singh and his brother Surjeet for possessing illegal watch-making parts.
On May 17, 2010, the duo was acquitted by court after a delay of 25 years. The judge said Customs officials’ case was built on illegal sanctions from their superior authorities.
Additional chief metropolitan magistrate Ajay Pandey said, “For years, the said accused faced a trial which had no sanction from the superiors in the Customs department.”
“Neither the sanctioning authority has appeared in the witness box, nor has it cited a witness in the case,” the judge added.
Rawail told HT, “Today I am 42 years old. I have wasted my entire youth in courtrooms just because I was implicated in a false case. The case had nearly 100 adjournments.”
S.C. Puri, counsel for the duo, told the court, “For 25 years, the Customs department prosecuted them without any evidence. Charges were framed without any sanction from Custom’s chief.”
The Customs’ counsel said the prosecution had proved the sanctions.
However, the court rapped the Customs' counsel, saying that grant of sanction in such cases was not a mere formality. “There is no witness, before whom the sanctioning authority put its signatures,” said the judge.