The Gujarat High Court on December 21 discharged Porbandar MLA from Kutiyana, Kandhal Jadeja in the 1998 arms possession case.
Jadeja was charged under several provisions of the Arms Act for allegedly possessing prohibited arms.
While the offence was registered at the Udhyognagar police station in Porbandar in November 1998 against Jadeja, the high court had earlier stayed the framing of charges by the Porbandar trial court. The chargesheet came to be filed in June 2000.
The NCP MLA had sought to be discharged but a Porbandar trial court had refused to drop the charges of 25(1-B) (in possession of firearms or prohibited ammunition) and 29 (punishment for knowingly purchasing arms, etc, from unlicensed person or for delivering arms, etc., to person not entitled to possess the same) under the Arms Act.
This was again challenged at the Porbandar district court in 2011, which too was rejected by the court in November 2014. Jadeja then moved the high court in December 2014, challenging the lower court’s rejection of his discharge application.
It was argued by his advocate, senior counsel Nirupam Nanavaty that if the only evidence against the accused is in the form of a statement of a co-accused, which otherwise cannot be a part of the chargesheet, then, in such circumstances, the trial court ought to have allowed the discharge application.
It was also submitted that such confessional statements by a co-accused made in police custody, does not constitute as legal evidence for the purpose of framing of charge.
The court of Justice Vipul Pancholi thus dropped the charges against Jadeja on December 21. A detailed order is awaited.
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