With one of the accused turning approver, a local court has framed charges against the remaining five arrested for allegedly robbing 11-kg gold and Rs 2.5 lakh from Muthoot Fincorp office in Tripuri in May last year.
The accused have been identified as Gaurav Singla of Urban Estate, Sukhwinder Singh of Darshan Nagar, Robin Raval of Sanour, Venus Sharma of Sewak Colony and Navneet Kaur of Ranjit Nagar.
Gurpeet Singh, a resident of Urban Estate, who was accompanying them, has become the approver in the case. The police had earlier moved an application for making him an approver, but withdrew it before his statement was recorded.
Later, Gurpreet moved an application to become the approver, which was allowed and he was granted pardon in the case under Section 306 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC). The court, however, directed him to remain in custody.
The police have now produced a supplementary chargesheet, after removing Gurpreet’s name from the accused’s list, and adding it to the list of witnesses.
Gurpreet Singh was reportedly a close aide of the kingpin, Gaurav Singla, who hatched the conspiracy to commit the broad-daylight robbery. Navneet and Venus were employees of the company, who passed them information about the firm.
Additional district and sessions judge Balwinder Singh has framed charges against the accused under Sections 395 (dacoity), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 412 (dishonestly receiving property stolen in the commission of a dacoity) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code besides Section 25 of the Arms Act.
Three armed men with their faces covered struck at Muthoot Fincorp office in Tripuri, one of busiest areas of Patiala, around 4.30pm on May 16, 2015.
They sprayed surveillance cameras with black paint, barged into the company office, took the employees hostage at gunpoint, grabbed their mobile phones, and severed all communication lines and emergency sirens, before opening the lockers and decamping with the cash and jewellery worth Rs 3.5 crore.
They executed their plan in just 10 minutes and got away on a Honda Activa scooter. Even the neighbouring shopkeepers came to know about the incident when the police arrived.