Mumbai: A Mumbai
sessions court Monday acquitted four accused in the 2007
kidnapping and murder of 16-year-old Adnan Patrawala after the
prosecution failed to prove its case, a lawyer said. The victim's
father termed the verdict "shocking" and said he would appeal in a
"The court has rubbished the conspiracy theories by the
prosecution in this case. With the chain of circumstances not
being proven in court, the case has gone in favour of the
defence," defence counsel Ashish Chavan told reporters here.
The four accused were Amit Kaushal, Ayush Bhat, Sujit Nair and
Rajeev Dhariya. The fifth accused, a minor, is being tried in a
Adnan, the son of Mumbai builder Aslam Patrawala, was strangled on
August 18, 2007 allegedly by his friends. Adnan, who had taken his
father's car to meet his friends, was found in bushes near Palm
Beach Road in Vashi, Navi Mumbai.
The accused had allegedly befriended Adnan at a gaming zone at a
mall in Malad in northwest Mumbai. They interacted with him via a
social networking site and met at the mall, following which Adnan
was asked them to drop the accused at their homes close by.
They later kidnapped him and demanded a ransom of Rs.2 crore from
his family. But as the news of kidnapping broke, they strangled
him to death and dumped his body in bushes.
The police charged the accused with kidnapping, murder, extortion
and destruction of evidence.
Chavan said that the court rejected the claim of the witness
produced by the prosecution, who said he heard the accused
hatching the plan to kidnap Adnan in a shopping mall.
"The entire case is based on circumstantial evidence and the chain
of events has not been established. It is still a death, but
murder has not been proved," said Chavan.
According to Chavan, another theory by the prosecution about the
recovery of Adnan's body has also proved to be wrong. "Both the
theories of prosecution have been disbelieved by the court. The
prosecution failed to support its allegations and claims with
evidence in the court," Chavan said.
"The theory of ransom has not been proved and call records have
not been produced before the court," he added.
Terming the sessions court verdict as "shocking", Adnan's father
Aslam Patrawala said that he will not give up till justice is
"Very shocking, very shocking. What can I say? Justice has been
denied to us and I don't know why the court has given this kind of
judgement. The case was very straightforward and clear," he said.
"I will seek further counsel from my lawyer and decide on further
action. We will go to the Supreme Court if need be," he added.