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Monday, Sep 23, 2019

Priest accused of stealing agiary money acquitted

The accused, Homiyar Sidhwa, who was the head priest at the Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Deolali, was arrested in September 2016, 10 days after the money was reported stolen.

india Updated: Apr 20, 2019 06:31 IST
Yesha Kotak
Yesha Kotak
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
(Sidhwa said that after his duty with Deolali agiary was terminated, he tried to find a job and make ends meet while dealing with the death of his father. )
         

A 32-year-old Parsi priest who was arrested three years ago for allegedly robbing money from a Deolali fire temple has been acquitted by a court in Nashik.

The accused, Homiyar Sidhwa, who was the head priest at the Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Deolali, was arrested in September 2016, 10 days after the money was reported stolen.

Police claimed he was caught outside the agiary, leaving for Mumbai with ₹1.94 lakh in cash. He was charged under section 381 (theft by clerk or servant of property in possession of master) of Indian Penal Code (IPC) and remanded in police custody for a week.

The magistrate at the Nashik court said the prosecution failed to prove the accused had committed theft and their case that he was stopped outside the agiary with ₹1.94 lakh in his hand “could not be believed”. Sidhwa said the money was his “personal savings”.

“Considering an FIR was registered in the matter, none of us were allowed to leave the premises. However, my father was suffering from cancer and I had to be with him urgently, which is why I gave an application to the trustees and they said they would inform the police,” said Sidhwa.

Sidhwa said that after his duty with Deolali agiary was terminated, he tried to find a job and make ends meet while dealing with the death of his father.

When HT called up the trustee that had complained against the priest, he said he refused to admit the robbery took place.

The court also ordered that the seized amount should be deposited in the government treasury. Sidhwa said he had appealed to get the amount back.

First Published: Apr 20, 2019 06:31 IST