A 50-year-old shopkeeper was acquitted in a attempt to murder case 26 years after a case was registered against him as the police failed to produce any witness against him.
The Nagpada police had booked Sarmad Khan Sonda and four others for rioting in Kandiya Street (Nagpada) and attempting to murder a person in November 1984.
The police had alleged that the five were planning to kill a person during the riots.
“The police had registered a case against the five accused although according to them there were 13 people involved in the offence,” said Sonda’s lawyer Kiran N Makasare.
He said the police followed the case only against four people, saying that Sonda could not be traced.
“Sonda was declared absconding and there was no attempt by the police to arrest him despite the fact that he was present in the city, running his shop,” said Makasare.
In April 2001, the court acquitted the four accused while the case against Sonda was kept pending and his trial was separated.
“The court also classified the case as dormant,” said Makasare.
Sonda appeared in court in November 2009 after he learnt that there was a case of attempt to murder filed against him and he was declared absconding. After Sonda appeared, the court commenced the trial against him.
“During the trial, the police could not even produce a single witness against Sonda,” said Makasare.
Accepting Makasare’s argument that there was no case against his client as the police failed to produce any witness, the court acquitted Sonda.