PMC incurred loss of `20.78L due to damages done to public property by accused
Pune: The Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) had incurred a loss of Rs 20.78 lakh but a shoddy investigation by police resulted in the acquittal of a man against whom the FIR was registered. Interestingly, the company was not named in the FIR.
Judicial Magistrate (First Class) NA Patil on May 4 acquitted Anil Damlu Rajput of Lohgaon. Police also failed to prove that he was the contractor for the company.
Based on a complaint from PMC executive engineer Vijaykumar Sandipan Shinde, Chatuhshrungi police station had registered the case against Rajput for offences under section 431, 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code and section 3 of the Prevention to Damage to Public Property Act.
According to the FIR, on February 14, 2011, site engineer Abhijit Deshpande informed Shinde over the phone that damage was caused to the road in between IDBI Road and Pancard Club Road (Baner) by removing foot path, cycle track and making a ditch. The cable of Tata Communications and Tata Teleservices was laid without obtaining permission from the PMC. The said work was carried out on February 13, 2011. Hence, he lodged a report against Tata Communications and Tata Teleservices for causing loss to public property. There was ditch 2 ft in width and half km in length. There was a loss of Rs 20.78 lakh to PMC.
PSI Pratapsingh Bahure, who investigated the case, deposed that during the investigation he found that without permission of PMC, accused laid cable of Tata Indicom. He had also carried out spot panchnama.
While acquitting the accused, the magistrate stated in the judgement, “Shinde lodged a complaint against Tata Communications Limited and Tata Teleservices. However, the said companies have not been made accused. In the information of accused (Rajput), the occupation of accused is mentioned as a contractor. Certain documents have been filed by the prosecution but those cannot be read in evidence. In the present case, there is no record to show that the accused is a contractor or representing Tata Communications Limited or Tata Teleservices. Therefore, it is difficult to come to the conclusion that the alleged work of cable was undertaken either by the accused or Tata Communications Limited or Tata Teleservices. Even if spot panchnama is admitted by the accused, it does not mean that he laid the cable. So also cables of Tata Communications Limited or Tata Teleservices have not been seized by the police. The prosecution utterly failed to prove the role of the accused in the present case by adducing or showing that he works for Tata Communications Limited, Tata Teleservices or of any company or that he is the contractor and he is the only person who has undertaken the alleged work. There is no documentary evidence to that effect. Considering the facts of the case and evidence on record, there is no cogent, convincing and reliable evidence on record to connect the accused in the present matter. The prosecution failed to establish the link of the alleged offence. The accused is, therefore, liable to be acquitted.”