Mumbai constable sentenced to a year in jail 17 years after he let a prisoner escape
Mumbai city news: The 54-year-old was on night duty when he was given the custody of Yakub Jamil Shaikh (24) who escaped from custody after breaking his handcuffs.cities Updated: Jul 08, 2017 23:47 IST
Seventeen years after being booked for aiding and abetting a criminal escape from police lock-up, the Esplanade court last week found constable Sarjerao Jadhav guilty.
The 54-year-old was on night duty when he was given the custody of Yakub Jamil Shaikh (24). Shaikh was arrested on May 3, 2001 by the crime branch unit 10, with a foreign made pistol and live cartridges. The police suspected that he was paid to kill an actor.
On May 6, 2011, after interrogation, Shaikh was kept police lock up where Jadhav was on night duty.
According to the then police sub inspector Jitendra Vankoti’s statement, who was investigating Shaikh, at 9 pm he had handed over Shaikh’s custody to Jadhav. Vankoti alleged that at the time of handing over the custody, he had directed Jadhav to keep a watch on Shaikh as he was a dangerous criminal and his interrogation was underway.
However, Vankoti claimed that at 2:30am he received a call from the police station that Shaikh escaped by breaking the handcuffs.
Investigation revealed that Jadhav fell asleep and Shaikh used the opportunity to break his handcuffs, come out of the lock up, break into the cupboards, steal Jadhav’s shoes and ran away from the lock-up.
The police alleged that Shaikh could not have escaped without Jadhav’s help. Public prosecutor Rajendra Suryavanshi alleged that Jadhav, in spite of specific directions, did not use foreign handcuffs.
In his defence, Jadhav first claimed that he had fallen asleep but later said that he had gone to the toilet when Shaikh escaped.
The court, however, discarded Jadhav’s defence and observed, “From breaking of handcuffs by to breaking into a sealed wooden cupboard and taking away shoes that were kept under the cupboard — these things show that Jadhav intentionally assisted Shaikh to escape.”
The court sentenced Jadhav to one year’s imprisonment and a fine of Rs1,000. He was, however, was released on bail to approach a higher court.