The prosecution alleged that those in-charge of digging the pothole had not taken safety precautions for avoiding an accident. However, the counsels of the accused claimed their clients had taken all possible precautions and were not responsible for the accident
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A Thane court has acquitted two civic officials and two other persons accused in a case of a pothole-related death here in 2016, saying the prosecution failed to prove the charges against them. Additional Sessions Judge R R Kakani passed the order on December 9 and a copy of it was made available on Wednesday. The prosecution told the court that on the night of February 6, 2016, the victim, Jamila Anis Khan, was returning home along with her family members after attending a function. She was walking on a footpath near a jail wall here in Maharashtra, when she suddenly fell in a deep pothole. Later, firemen pulled her out, but she had died by that time.
The prosecution alleged that those in-charge of digging the pothole had not taken safety precautions for avoiding an accident. However, the counsels of the accused claimed their clients had taken all possible precautions and were not responsible for the accident. After hearing both the sides, the judge said the evidence of the investigating officer does not reveal what was the role of the accused in the commission of the offence. So, considering the evidence on record, it can safely be held that though the woman met an accidental death, she herself was responsible for it, the court said. The evidence of prosecution witnesses amply proved the accused had taken every precaution by arranging barricades around the structure, the court said.
The prosecution failed to prove the charges under Indian Penal Code Section 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 34 (common intention) against the accused, who need to be acquitted, the judge said in the order. Those acquitted in the case are - supervisor Vijay Madhukar Dhoke (37), contractor Bushan Kishore Borse (43), Thane Municipal Corporation's architect Sunil Sudhakar Joshi (56) and the civic body's executive engineer Vivekanand Raghunath Karande (51). Another accused, Madhukar Posalya Gavit, died on August 27, 2021 during the pendency of the trial, and the case against him stood abated.
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