Court acquits two arrested for circulating counterfeit currency
Mumbai: Accused of circulating counterfeit Indian currency notes in the city, two men, residents of Malda district in West Bengal were acquitted of the charges by a sessions court on Thursday.
Suleman Razzak Shaikh, 53, and Sanaul Julum Insarali Shaikh, 29, were arrested with 60 counterfeit notes of ₹2000 denomination, on November 8, 2017.
The anti-extortion cell of the Mumbai police crime branch had received a specific tip-off. Acting on the information, a team of AEC officials had arrested them from the Princess Dock area in the city. Upon searching the two, the team had found a bundle of 60 counterfeit notes.
The duo was charged under section 489-C (possession of counterfeit Indian currency notes), and section 120-B (conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. The prosecution had examined eight witnesses in the case, but additional sessions judge BD Shelke acquitted them in view of several loopholes in the prosecution case.
The court found that there was no consistency in the versions of witnesses, related to the seizure of the counterfeit notes – the investigation officer of the case and panch witnesses. While the witnesses had stated that they had left the party at about 6.45 pm, the investigating officer said their signatures were taken on the arrest memo at about 7.40 pm at AEC office.
A member of the raiding party, a policeman attached to AEC, had on the other hand in clear terms stated that the investigating officer had prepared the seizure panchnama of office computer and had obtained signatures of both the panchas - witnesses to the seizure.
“These material discrepancies in the evidence of (PW-1) and (PW-3) create a shadow of doubt in respect of effecting traps on accused and seizure of the counterfeit currency notes from the possession of accused persons,” said the court, rejecting the evidence pertaining to seizure.
The court also acquitted the duo of the charge of conspiracy for want of cogent evidence.
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