Court acquits four men accused of kidnapping, murdering 14-year-old boy in Thane district

A special court in Maharashtra’s Thane district acquitted four men booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) for kidnapping and murdering a 14-year-old boy for Rs 20 lakh ransom, citing that the investigation in the case was not carried out properly.

Special MCOCA judge Amit M Shete, in his order dated October 9, held that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

The court acquitted Kishor Ramesh Shinde (36), Rakesh Madanlal Lakhara (37), Joy Timir Chaudhary (42), and Santosh Devendra Padchinte (36) of the charges under sections 363 (kidnapping), 302 (murder) and other relevant provisions of the IPC and MCOCA.

Special public prosecutor Sanjay More informed the court that the alleged accused had kidnapped Yash Shah, a Class 9 student, from his school in Dombivili on June 25, 2009, and demanded a ransom of Rs 20 lakh from his father.

The accused later killed the boy and dumped his body under a tree in Yeva village of Badlapur, he said.

The judge, in his order, noted that the confessional statements of the accused alone were not sufficient to convict them of the crime.

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The corroborative material in the case was not trustworthy and reliable and raised doubts about the involvement of the accused, the order stated.

The prosecution witnesses, particularly the police and investigation officer, failed to produce on record the material showing that the accused together were running any crime syndicate, or they were booked in an offence carrying a punishment of more than three years, the judge said.

There is no material on record

supporting any charge punishable under the MCOCA, he said, while acquitting the alleged accused.

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