New Delhi, Jun 29 - An alleged woman bootlegger, who was accused of carrying a huge quantity of illicit liquor six years ago, has been let off by a Delhi court as all that the police could manage to produce before it were empty cans.
Metropolitan Magistrate (MM) Deepak Dabas acquitted the woman, arrested here in October 2006 for allegedly carrying 26 bottles of illicit liquor in a can, saying that the police had not explained as to how the seized alcohol had disappeared.
"The can, when produced in court, was not containing 25 bottles of liquor. No explanation has come from prosecution regarding the disappearance of the complete case property. In such a situation tampering with the case property cannot be ruled out," the magistrate said.
The court, while acquitting Nathi, a resident of Bharola village in North-West Delhi, observed that there were certain contradictions in the testimony of police officials and it appeared that "no sincere efforts" were made by the investigating officer (IO) to join any public witness.
According to the prosecution, on October 21, 2006, some policemen were on patrol duty and when they reached near a bus stand in village Bharola, they noticed that Nathi was carrying a heavy can on her shoulder.
The police said on seeing them, Nathi started turning back after which she was stopped by the officials and on being checked, the can was found to be containing 26 bottles of illicit liquor.
It said that one bottle of liquor was taken out as sample and the remaining alcohol was poured in the can and both the containers were sealed.
During the trial, Nathi denied the incriminating material and evidence which was produced against her.
The court, in its order, observed that the testimonies of police officials, who had arrested Nathi, were contradictory as one of them had deposed that the incident was of October 31, 2006, while the other said it was of September 21, 2006.
It said that according to police, they had poured 25 bottles of liquor in the can but when it was produced before it, there was only a "small quantity of liquid" in it.
"It is also pertinent to mention that the plastic can, when produced in the court, was found containing only a small quantity of liquid. As per prosecution version, the plastic can was containing 26 bottles of liquor out of which one bottle was taken out as sample and the remaining 25 bottles of liquor was poured back in the can," the court said. PTI