MADURAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court upheld the acquittal of a railway employee who faced charges for allegedly stealing control valves and cylindrical rollers belonging to the Railway Department, in Tiruchy in 2000.
Justice M Nirmal Kumar gave the verdict on a criminal appeal filed in 2014 by the Tiruchy Railway Protection Force (RPF) deployed at the Golden Rock Workshop under the Union of India. The RPF had challenged an order passed by Tiruchy lower court in 2013 acquitting one M Aloysius.
According to the prosecution, two brass control valves, bearing marks of the Railway department, were found concealed under the seat of Aloysius' bicycle in November 2000.
Since the workshop had very restricted access, the valves were recovered without the presence of any independent witnesses. Subsequently, a search was conducted at the residence of Aloysius and 46 Railway cylindrical rollers and other engineering materials were seized. Aloysius was booked for 'unlawful possession' of railway properties. However, the trial court acquitted him, challenging which the appeal was filed.
Justice Nirmal Kumar noted that the first seizure had taken place inside the workshop and that taking materials for job inside the workshop is not an offence. Moreover, the materials produced have not been proved to be that of the Railway department and are said to be available even in open market, he pointed out and dismissed the appeal.