The sessions court on Tuesday acquitted a father-son duo, who were accused of murdering a senior citizen for lack of evidence.
On February 19, 2008, domestic help Monika Jagtap (18) complained to the Gamdevi police that two unidentified men strangled her employer, Lajwanti Chugani (68), to death in her Warden Road flat.
After preliminary investigation, the police concluded that the motive was robbery as cash and jewellery worth Rs 2 lakh were missing from Chugani’s flat.
In March 2008, the police arrested Ramprakash Sonkar (55) and his son Jaikumar (28) and reportedly recovered Chugani’s gold chain and more than Rs 2 lakh cash.
During the trial, the prosecution examined 10 witnesses, including Jagtap who identified the Sonkars in court.
Defence lawyer Abdul Wahab Khan argued that Chugani’s neighbour Neeta Chougle, one of the witnesses in the chargesheet, was not examined by the prosecution.
Chougle told the court that on the day of the incident, Jagtap had told her that Chugani had slipped and fallen, and died.
“Chougle’s statement negated the prosecution’s case,” said Khan.
He also pointed out contradictions in the statements of police and a panch witness on the seizure of booty.