Man spends 8 days in jail even after acquittal


By: Mahesh Chander Sharma

Mandi (April 20): In an incident of gross negligence committed by law officials in Mandi district, an accused, acquitted in a case on April 11, was wrongly kept in Sub Jail, Mandi, till April 18 when he was again produced in the court along with a convict in the same case.

Three accused, Sat Pal, Rahul (both from Haryana) and Hem Singh, a resident of Kullu, were tried by Additional Sessions Judge, Mandi, Rakesh Kainthala under the provision of Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act as police had recovered 5 Kg of charas from Satpal while he was traveling in a bus on January 10, 2010. The other two accused were nabbed for abetting the offence. Out of these three accused, Hem Singh was on bail and Sat Pal and Rahul were in custody. On April 11 the court announced final orders in the case and held Sat Pal guilty under Section 20 of NDPS Act and adjourned the case for passing quantum of sentence on April 18. The court further ordered that the other two accused, Rahul and Hem Singh, be acquitted. (Hem Singh was earlier on bail and Rahul was in custody) But the things did not stopped here as per order of court the accused While Rahul was to be released immediately, on the jail warrants the acquittal of Rahul was not mentioned and it was only mentioned that the accused be produced on April 18.

When the two of them were produce before the court pm 18th, it was found that Rahul remained wrongly lodged in the jail without any reason. The other accused was sentenced to undergo rigorous imprisonment for 12 years. According to Jail Superintendent BS Saklani, the accused remained lodged in jail as per the order of the trial court.

According defense counsel DC Sharma, the accused was acquitted on 11th of April but as per the practice prevailing the accused were firstly taken to jail and then released. “I thought that the accused had been released and had gone to his house, but I was shocked to see him yesterday in the court,” he said.

Members of District Bar Association were seen discussing this matter as according to them it was a matter of great concern and happened for the first time. Interestingly, the District Bar Association had passed a resolution few days back against the functioning of Additional Sessions Judge, Mandi, and sent it for consideration of the Chief Justice.

Rahul when contacted today said that he would come to Mandi after three days and lodge a formal complaint before the high court.

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