Metropolitan Magistrate H Sidharth Mathur acquitted city resident Pradeep Lal of the Arms Act case, noting that during the 12-year-long trial, the police was able to produce only one witness - the constable who wrote the FIR in November 1999.
"There do exist doubts and unexplained holes in the prosecution story and as such accused is given benefit of doubt and is hereby acquitted," the court said.
The court let off Pradeep saying the police had failed to come with any incriminating evidence against him "despite repeated opportunities" given to it during the long trial.
"The prosecution evidence was closed on April 26, 2012 after the prosecution failed to conclude its evidence despite repeated opportunities and old pendency of this case," the magistrate said.
Pradeep, booked under the Arms Act on November 15, 1999 when he was found in possession of "illegal knife" in Rohini area, had pleaded "not guilty" and claimed trial in the case.
The court, however, acquitted him saying there was no "incriminating evidence" against him.
"The record shows that no witness had been examined by the prosecution either regarding the recovery of the illicit weapon from the accused or regarding the possession of said weapon by accused on the fateful day," the court said.