CUTTACK: Two persons Gautam Hazira and Anil Sony, who were sentenced to life imprisonment for their alleged involvement in kidnapping two textile workers for ransom in 2010, were acquitted by the Orissa High Court on Tuesday.
The division bench of Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice B P Routray observed that the trial court, without analysing the discrepancies and doubts in the case of the prosecution, has mechanically come to the conclusion that the guilt of the appellants stands proved beyond reasonable doubt. The Court said all the five witnesses failed to inspire confidence in the prosecution version.
On May 27, 2010, Abhimanyu Mahuri and Pintu Pradhan who were employed in a textile mill in Coimbatore, were returning home in Coromandel Express from Chennai and were scheduled to alight at Balasore railway station the next day.
However, two persons offered them spiked cold drinks and when they became unconscious, they kidnapped them. The accused took them to an unknown place in West Bengal and demanded ransom from their family members.
An FIR was lodged with the Balasore GRP by Abhimanyu’s brother after receiving a phone call about the kidnapping and ransom demand of Rs 2 lakh. The victims were rescued by the railway police from Dolahat on June 4, 2010 and brought to Balasore along with Gautam Hazira and Anil Sony who were arrested for their alleged involvement.
The Fast-Track Court of Adhoc Additional Sessions Judge, Balasore, sentenced them to life imprisonment following conviction under section 364 (A) and 392 of Indian Penal Code. Gautam and Anil had challenged the trial court judgment in the High Court the same year.