TAMIL NADU

Seven acquitted in bus dacoity case

Staff Reporter

Karur judge had sentenced them to jail term



The case dates back to March 5, 1998 when the passengers were relieved of their valuables

Sentence imposed on first accused confirmed



MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has acquitted seven persons from a bus dacoity case in which the Karur Assistant Sessions Judge had sentenced them to undergo 10 years rigorous imprisonment on February 8, 2005.

However, Justice G. Rajasuria confirmed the conviction and sentence imposed on the first accused Mohammed Ali.

The case dates back to March 5, 1998 when the passengers of a government bus were relieved of their jewels, money and other valuables while travelling between Karur and Salem.

According to the prosecution, an armed gang waylaid the bus at 4 a.m. and looted 65 passengers at knifepoint before decamping with the booty.

“Shocking”

Exonerating Sardar Basha, Abbas, Abubakkar, Abubakkar, Rafiq alias Mohamed, Sharif and Mohammed Baroof alias Umar Baroof from the case, Mr. Justice Rajasuria said: “Surprisingly and shockingly, even though a horrendous and horrible crime took place, owing to faulty investigation and lack of cooperation from the witnesses except as against A1, the prosecution cannot succeed in driving home the guilt as against other accused.”

The Judge pointed out that the Velayudayampalayam police in Karur district had arrayed 10 to 16 persons as accused though the First Information Report lodged by the bus driver states that there were only five to six dacoits.

Besides, the police had produced some money allegedly robbed by the accused from a bank before the trial court though it had no relevance to the present case.

Almost all the prosecution witnesses had turned hostile during the course of trial but for the bus conductor who identified A1 alone during the identification parade.

On the contention that the conductor’s statement could not be relied upon, the Judge said: “Even though the prosecution relied on PW2 (conductor) to speak about the identity of various other accused, the conductor spoke about the identity of A1 alone properly and not others and that itself would add strength to his evidence. If PW2, the conductor is a false witness, he could have very well pleaded ignorance about the identity of A1 also, but he had not chosen to do so.”



The case dates back to March 5, 1998 when the passengers were relieved of their valuables

Sentence imposed on first accused confirmed





Recommended for you