The Bombay High Court today admitted an appeal filed by the Maharashtra government against a lower court order acquitting four youngsters on charges of kidnapping and murdering 16-year-old Adnan Patrawala, son of a city-based businessman in 2007.
Justices AM Khanwilkar and AR Joshi also admitted a similar appeal filed by the victim's father Aslam Patrawala, challenging the acquittal of the accused by the trial court.
A sessions court had acquitted Sujit Nair, Ayush Bhat, Rajiv Dhariya and Amit Kaushal as it found no substance in the prosecution case and released all of them for want of evidence.
According to police, Adnan had befriended the accused through a social networking site and accompanied them to a game parlour in a suburban mall on August 18, 2007.
The four accused had allegedly hatched a conspiracy to abduct the teenager and demand Rs 2 crore ransom from his family.
Soon after receiving the ransom call, Adnan's family informed the police. Adnan's body was found a day later in Navi Mumbai.
Aslam, in his appeal, has contended that in spite of "clinching evidence" on record, the trial court has failed to consider the same and adopted a "biased" approach while dealing with the evidence of the witnesses.
Aslam submitted that the trial judge who had acquitted the accused had examined only three of the 25 witnesses in the case, while 22 witnesses were examined by another judge earlier, who was later transferred.
The appeal states that the judge who acquitted the accused "had no occasion to examine the demeanour of witnesses and was not acquainted with the substantial part of the evidence and had passed the judgment without appreciation of evidence on record in proper perspective"