A special court in the district has acquitted four persons charged under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA), saying the prosecution failed to prove the case against them.
Special MCOCA court judge V Y Jadhav, in his order passed earlier this week, acquitted Vikram Mhatre (31), Atish Mhatre (26), Ritesh Vilas Mali (23), and Priyesh Prakash Mhatre (25), all from Kalwar village in Bhiwandi in Thane district in a 2016 case.
The complainant in the case, Ganesh Mhatre, had alleged that the four accused wanted to develop his land in the village. However, he refused to hand over the land to them and gave development rights to somebody else.
In his complaint, he said that in the early hours on June 11, 2016, some two wheelers parked within the compound of his house were set on fire and when he rushed outside, he spotted the four accused standing nearby.
He lodged a complaint against them and a case under IPC sections 425 (whoever with intent to cause, or knowing that he is likely to cause, wrongful loss or damage to the public or to any person, causes the destruction of any property) and 427 (mischief causing damage to the amount of fifty rupees) was registered against them.
The police later also slapped the MCOCA against them.
Appearing for the accused, their counsels Poonit Mahimkar and Dhananjay Patil argued the complainant only saw the accused standing there, which does not mean they were responsible for torching the vehicles.
They also told the court that the CCTV footage showed two other persons passing by the complainant's building and they could not be traced by the police.
They argued that the accused were falsely implicated in the case.
Observing that the prosecution had miserably failed to prove the charges against the accused, the court acquitted them.
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