Eight years ago at Madh jetty creek, a man was found dead with face crushed with a heavy stone. In 2016, the trial court acquitted the suspect, a colleague of the deceased, for lack of evidence. After that, police neither filed an appeal nor carried out further investigations.
According to police, the accused, Rahul Ravi Das, and deceased Kamal Sardar used to work as housekeeping staff in a mall in Andheri. In 2010, Sardar accused Das of stealing Rs 12,000 from his wallet during working hours. This incident had caused enmity between Sardar and Das. In the same year in December, Das invited Sardar for a drink and urged him to forget the bitter incident. They took Versova jetty to Madh jetty creek.
Police said they bought beer and started drinking. They then had an argument over the money that was allegedly stolen by Das. During the argument, Das picked up a rock and crushed Sardar’s face. Malvani police arrested Das after a few days, but he was acquitted in 2016.
Das’s lawyer Anand Pande told The Indian Express that there was circumstantial evidence against Das. There were seven witnesses. Among them, two were important witnesses — one was the boat operator who took Das and Sardar from Versova to Madh jetty and the other was their colleague. Pande said according to police, Das had confessed to the colleague that he killed Sardar.
Pande said the court discarded the confession as there was no one else present when Das allegedly admitted to his crime. Also, the colleague did not have any status of influence in the society that a confession made before him would count. Besides, he was also not a childhood friend of the deceased that he would inform him of such an incident.
Pande further said the court also did not consider the statement of the boat operator as during the cross-examination, when asked that if he could identify other passengers who had travelled in his boat, he answered in the negative. The boat operator also could not give any description of the clothes worn by Sardar. Pande said the police did not present the boat tickets before the court. Pande added that the police had not filed any appeal because Das did not receive any notice from the court.
While speaking to one of the investigating officers in the case, he said it was shocking that the accused was acquitted by the court. But there was no appeal against his acquittal filed as of now. He further said it was the duty of the police station concerned to further investigate the case or assign an officer or file an appeal, but none of this was done. Dipak Phatangare, senior police inspector of Malvani police, refused to comment on the case.