A local court on Monday acquitted four persons accused of kidnapping and murdering Adnan Patrawala, 16, in August 2007 because the Mumbai police could not establish their role in the crime.
The fifth accused in the case was a minor when he was arrested and hence his case was referred to the juvenile court. His trial is yet to start.
During the trial, which went on for more than two years, in the sessions court and was not meant for the public, the prosecution alleged the four, along with the minor, had hatched a conspiracy to kidnap Adnan, son of a businessman. They befriended him through a social networking website and called him at a mall on August 18, 2007.
When Adnan reached the place in his father’s Skoda car, they gave him a strong drink and kidnapped him, the prosecution alleged. Next morning, the prosecution said, Patrawala’s father, Aslam, received a call, demanding a ransom of Rs 2 crore. He then lodged a complaint with the police station.
As news of the kidnapping broke on TV, the alleged culprits took Adnan to a secluded location in Navi Mumbai, strangled him and dumped his body in the bushes.
The court, however, found several holes in the case. The prosecution could neither prove Adnan was kidnapped by the four, nor the point that they made the calls for ransom.
“The evidence produced before the court does not raise any confidence and is insufficient to hold the youngsters guilty of the offence,” the court observed while acquitting the four.
Reacting to the trial court’s verdict, Aslam Patrawala said: “This verdict has come as a shock. We will decide on the (next) course of action.”