A Delhi court has acquitted a Congress leader in a public property defacement case. The police were neither able to produce the banner he had allegedly put on the wall nor could they prove that it had been stuck by him.
Acquitting Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee (DPCC) secretary Vijender Jindal, Metropolitan Magistrate Manish Khurana said, "Merely because it (the banner) contained the photograph of the accused is not sufficient to prove the case... against the accused."
It also pulled up the police, saying it did not make sincere efforts to prove Jindal's guilt.
Conviction for defacement of public property under Section 3 of the West Bengal Prevention of Defacement of Property Act entails a jail term of up to six months, besides a fine of Rs 1,000.
Jindal, who had contested the 2008 Delhi Assembly elections from Rohini, was booked for allegedly defacing public property by sticking posters of Diwali greetings posters on roadside pavement walls.
Jindal was booked in the case in October 2008, but was arrested only in March 2009. He was released on bail on a personal bond, later.
The court pulled up the investigating officer of the case and said he had failed to explain what steps he took after seeing the banner till Jindal's arrest.
The prosecution too examined only three witnesses, all policemen. "It is clear that the witnesses have totally failed to prove that the banner was affixed by Jindal or was installed under his instructions. No public witness has been joined to the same," the court said.