11-yr-old case ends as man goes free

A man, accused of facilitating a room for gambling activities in a five-star hotel here, has been discharged by a Delhi court in the 11-year-old case due to lack of evidence.

An additional chief metropolitan magistrate Gautam Manan discharged Gurpreet Singh of the charges of gambling and said the charge sheet does not show his presence in the hotel room where gambling activities were allegedly going on.

It was also unclear if he was present in the room when the activities were going on.
According to the prosecution, 18 people were apprehended by the Crime Branch of Delhi Police when a raid was conducted in September 2001 in a room at a five-star hotel here near Parliament Street.

Police had said during the raid, it had recovered playing cards, pager, mobile phone and Indian currency from the room of the 18 accused after which they were booked under the provisions of the Delhi Public Gambling Act.

Police had made Singh an accused in the case on the basis of a disclosure statement of another accused who had said that Singh was able to get the room booked in the hotel to facilitate gambling activities.

Except Singh, all the other accused have admitted their guilt in the case. Singh’s counsel, however, argued that there was no evidence to show that he had booked the room from where the other accused had allegedly indulged in gambling activities and also that he was not present there at the time of raid.

‘Smuggler’ acquitted

A man facing trial for the last 15 years allegedly for buying “smuggled gold” from two Iraqi nationals was acquitted by a Delhi court due to lack of evidence.

The court let off city resident D Rana saying witnesses were unable to establish “any linkage” between him and the accused Imad Ali Hussain Ali Jamil Ahmed and Haythem M Hassan Saffer of Baghdad.

On April 4, 1996, Ahmed was found possessing foreign and Indian currency equivalent to Rs 10.97 lakh which was given to him by Saffer on March 27, 1996 in a hotel here. And he was trying to illegally take it out of India.

Rana was facing trial on the allegation that on March 27, 1996, he had purchased 2.19 kg of gold from the two accused. He had also bought about 16 kg of gold from Ahmed between August 1995 and March 1996.

Ahmed and Saffer were convicted by the court here in April 1997 while charges under the Customs Act were framed against Rana in February 1997.

ACMM Gautam Manan acquitted Rana saying there was no evidence to connect him with the two foreigners. “The documents produced on behalf of the complainant does not prove that Rana used to purchase smuggled gold from the accused persons,” he said.

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