A local court on Thursday acquitted two members of a gang of thieves, who had taken a leaf out of the book of Bollywood flick Dhoom-2 while committing crime, of one of the 15 cases for lack of evidence, taking the total number of acquittals to 14, pointing towards a shoddy police investigation.
Giving the benefit of doubt to Ramesh Kumar alias Lucky (21) of Sector 20 and Tilak Raj alias Monty (20) of Sector 22 in Chandigarh, whom the UT police crime branch had dubbed as “notorious thieves”, the court of civil judge (junior division) Gaurav Datta lambasted the police for their failure to prove recoveries in the court.
They were booked under sections 411 (dishonestly receiving stolen property), 454 (lurking house trespass or housebreaking to commit offence punishable with imprisonment), 380 (theft in a dwelling unit) and 413 (habitually dealing in stolen property) of the Indian Penal Code in 2014.
The third accused, Vikas Kumar alias Vicky (21), of Sector 20 was booked in six cases. Ramesh and Tilak were booked in 13 cases and most of the recoveries were made from their houses. The remaining case will come up for hearing on March 18.
The gang also had fourth member, Sahil Bambal, son of a UT constable but his name was not mentioned in the charge-sheet.
Defence counsel Rohit Khullar argued that the recoveries were planted by the crime branch sleuths while arresting the accused. The investigation was headed by deputy superintendent of police (DSP crime) Jagbir Singh.
The court observed, “The prosecution has failed to examine any police official as witness who joined the investigation at the time of alleged recoveries.”
Their modus operandi
The UT crime branch claimed that the gang targeted the houses of working couples during daytime when they were at work and their children would go to school. The gang members first carried a recce of the area before selecting their target house. After stealing cash and ornaments, they would leave a chit, mentioning their next target location.