A security consultant and his associate, who were caught red-handed while taking a bribe in February 2008 in the name of then joint commissioner of police Hemant Karare, were acquitted by the anti-corruption court last week.
Bramhaprakash Gupta and Sunil Vishwakarma were let off as the prosecution failed to prove the case against them.
Former ATS chief Karkare, who was killed during the 26/11 attacks in November 2008, had played a major role in getting them arrested. Gupta and Vishwakarma used to allegedly accept money from proprietors of private security agencies under the pretext of helping them get arms licences by bribing police officers, including Karkare.
According to prosecution, in February 2008, inspector Ramesh Kadam attached to the arms and ammunition department received information that Gupta was seeking a bribe of Rs 2 lakh in the name of Karkare.
Kadam then informed Karkare, who posed as 'Ramdatt Sharma', an owner of a security agency, and spoke to Gupta over the phone.
Gupta told Karkare that he would charge Rs 2 lakh. A complaint was filed with the ACB against Gupta and a trap was laid to nab him.
A constable and a government witness met Gupta as employees of a security agency and recorded the conversation, where he and Vishwakarma demanded Rs 10,000 as advance. The duo was caught red-handed accepting the money few days later.
The court, however, discarded the recorded conversation as evidence, stating that police did not obtain a certificate from the person who transferred the data from the computer to the CD, which was presented in court. The court further said that the police failed to produce the digital recorder in which the conversation was recorded.