An aspiring actor from Punjab, accused of murdering his friend, was acquitted by the sessions court after the prosecution failed to prove the motive behind the act.
The police said the accused Swatanter Pal Singh (25) had promised a job to the victim, Vikramjeet Singh, a resident of Amritsar, in Canada and had taken Rs 5 lakh from him.
On May 7, 2008, Vikramjeet arrived in Mumbai and stayed at Swatanter’s house in Oshiwara.
Vikramjeet allegedly demanded that Swatanter make arrangements to send him to Canada as promised or return his money.
Swatanter allegedly slit Vikramjeet's throat following a scuffle, the prosecution claimed, adding the accused wrapped the victim's body in a blanket and threw it outside another neighbouring building.
The prosecution examined 16 witnesses, including the watchman of Swatanter's building who said he had seen the accused coming on the day of the incident with a bundle wrapped in a red blanket.
The accused loaded the bundle in his friend's car and went away, the watchman said. Vikramjeet's father deposed that the accused had promised a job to his son in Canada for which he had paid Rs 5 lakh to Swatanter.
Swatanter's lawyer however, claimed that the motive was not presented before the court by way of evidence.
Accepting the defence's arguments, additional sessions judge, SD Agarwal acquitted Swatanter on Friday.