Time heals wounds. At times, it wanes memories, letting an accused person free. Just what happened to Mohammed Ansari, arrested for robbery 22 years ago. On Wednesday, he walked out a free man.
The sessions court acquitted him after an eyewitness in the case, identified only as Babubhai, told the court he could not recall faces of those who were part of the robbery.
On June 22, 1987, Ansari and his 14 accomplices waylaid a car carrying silver valued at Rs 4 lakh. Ansari, who was arrested the same day, revealed the names of the other accused.
Ansari, who was granted bail within a year of his arrest, failed to stick by his bail conditions. He jumped bail and the police could only arrest him on March 8, 2009.
However, during the span of 22 years, the Mumbai police allegedly killed seven of his accomplices in various encounters. The court acquitted the other seven two years ago.
“His trial was separated, while in the main case the court had acquitted seven accused and seven others died”, said Ansari’s lawyer Amrish Salunke.
In court, Salunke argued that Ansari had been arrested by the police only to end the case. He said though the police prepared the recovery panchanama, no recovery panch witnesses was brought in court.
“The eyewitness, who was in the car, told the court he did not remember if it was Ansari who waylaid the car,” said Salunke. “Besides, the complainant, identified as Natwar Lal, had since passed away,” he added.
Ansari, however, cannot walk free as he has other two pending cases, allegedly committed while he was on bail.