Mumbai: Over 35 years after he was booked for murder, man cleared of all charges

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Over 35 years after a man was booked on charges of murder, a sessions court in Mumbai acquitted him on Friday. The court said there was no evidence to prove any of the allegations against Mumbai resident Prakash Ratan, now 60 years old, and cleared him of all charges.

Ratan had been absconding after the chargesheet was filed in the case in 1985. He was arrested earlier this year.

On September 29, 1984, a police officer on patrolling duty in Shivaji Nagar saw a man lying on the road with several injuries. On enquiry, he took the names of two men who had assaulted him and another man lying close by. The second man was declared dead on arrival at the hospital.

The police booked six men, including Ratan, on charges of murder and assault. Three other men were acquitted in separate trials, one was discharged and one died pending trial.

Ratan faced trial after his arrest earlier this year, but the police could not trace the injured victim. “It is to be stated that despite many attempts, the prosecution could not secure the presence of the injured (victim). Even during earlier trials, he was not examined as being not traceable. The evidence of the most crucial witness is thus not available,” the court noted.

With the police only presenting a head constable as a witness for the trial, the court said there was no evidence to prove the allegations and ordered Ratan’s release from jail.

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