Sunday, March 5, 2017

HC quashes FIR against bootlegger

Gujarat high court quashed an FIR against an alleged bootlegger for want to evidence. The judge said that a dozen odd cases of bootlegging registered against him in the past cannot be considered legal evidence to prosecute him in a separate case.

In this case, Santoshsinh Chauhan was booked under Gujarat Prohibition Act in 2014 by Odhav police. This was after police raided one Rajubhai Jaiswal's house and seized a huge quantity of liquor. During his interrogation, Jaiswal said that Chauhan had supplied him the stock.

However, Jaiswal was put on trial and acquitted by a trial court for want of evidence. On the other hand, the police got Chauhan declared an absconder as he was not arrested for more than two years.

Chauhan moved the HC to quash the FIR against him and argued that when the principal accused was acquitted, the case against him should have been put to rest at that stage itself. The government strongly opposed it and submitted that there are 12 cases registered against Chauhan under the prohibition laws and IPC.

Justice JB Pardiwala said Chauhan's antecedents do not constitute legal evidence, neither can a statement of a co-accused be treated as legal evidence to put him on trial.

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