When his son did not return from work, Sham Singh, a resident of Burail, Sector 45, Chandigarh, lodged a missing person’s complaint. But within 48 hours, he got a call from police saying his son had been arrested for theft. Iqbal Singh (32), who had been arrested in two cases of theft last year, was acquitted in both cases a year later after the police failed to prove that the accused was present at the scene of crime.
Iqbal’s counsel advocate Sajjal Sharma said his client, a mechanic at the Swaraj Mazda factory in Kurali, did not return home from work on May 15, 2017. So, Iqbal’s father lodged a missing complaint at Burail PP on May 16 and police a DDR on May 17. But on May 18, Sham Singh learnt from the police that his son was arrested in a case of theft at Sector 36 PS in Chandigarh.
“The accused Iqbal had been falsely implicated in the case as he was illegally detained and we have proved in court that Iqbal was at his workplace in Kurali when the theft occurred in Chandigarh,” said Sharma.
According to the first case registered on May 31, 2017, complainant Dhanraj Gutia, an auditor with the Principal Controller of Defence Accounts at Sector 9, Chandigarh, had alleged that when he returned home from work at 6 in the evening, he found the locks of his Sector 35 home broken and two gas cylinders, one iron, two pairs of shoes and some cosmetic items stolen. So, police registered a case and Iqbal was arrested on June 18, 2017. And the stolen items were recovered from him which as per the police were hidden by Iqbal in a bush near the Sector 52 cremation ground.
The accused was remanded in police custody, following which the police registered another FIR against Iqbal based on a complaint lodged by one Veeru, a resident of Tin Colony, Sector 52. Veeru alleged that around 1 pm on June 17, 2017, his Activa scooter was parked at Tin Colony where a Sikh was standing near his scooter and when he asked him to go away, the latter fled. Later, Veeru found his scooter seat box open and his purse containing Rs 400 and a silver bracelet stolen. So, Iqbal was arrested and on his disclosure, the cash and the bracelet were also recovered from a tin shed in Sector 52.
During the trial, advocate Sharma argued that Iqbal had been falsely implicated as the recovery was planted on him. It was proved in court that Iqbal was present at the Kurali factory as per the attendance register. The clerk at the Swaraj Mazda factory was summoned to court where he recorded that Iqbal was a contractual employee of the company and he was present at the factory from 9 am to 6 pm on the dates when the two theft cases were reported.
The complainant in the first case, Dhanraj Gutia, stated in court that he was told by his neighbours that a Sikh man broke into his house. But during the trial, he stated that the accused present in court resembled the person as told by his neighbours and cannot confirm whether he was the same individual. And, in the second case, complainant Veeru did not appear in court to record his statement.
According to Sharma, the DDR lodged by Iqbal’s father after his son went missing was also reported in court during the trial as per which Iqbal did not return home after he left for work on May 15, 2017.
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