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All 3 accused in Mapari murder walk away free
February 21, 2013
MARGAO: The sensational Sameer Mapari murder case has finally ended in acquittal of the three accused after a trial spanning over half a decade.
The South Goa Sessions court has acquitted the three accused Rajesh Dessai, Balesh Dessai and Vinay Dessai in the murder of the Curchorem youth on Wednesday.
0px; font-family: 'Times New Roman'; font-size: medium; text-align: justify;">While acquitting the three accused, Additional Sessions Judge, Desmond D’Costa, said the prosecution has failed to establish the chain of circumstances which are complete and consistent only with the hypothesis of the guilt of the accused and inconsistent with their innocence.
“The prosecution has failed to prove the guilt of each of the three accused persons, in respect of the offenses of murder, abduction and criminal conspiracy, beyond reasonable doubt,” Judge Desmond observed in his order.
He added further, “Though there appears to be a strong suspicion against the accused persons of their involvement in the crime, suspicion cannot take the place of proof and there cannot be a mere moral conviction on grave suspicion”.
“From the 16 circumstances relied on by the prosecution, only four circumstances have been proved, namely that Sameer Mapari was employed by accused Rajesh and Balesh Desai as on July 31, 2007; that he was missing from the night of that day; that a dead body was found floating in the river at Shiroda and that the death was a homicidal death. However, the rest of the circumstances have not been proved,” the judge said.
He said the prosecution failed to produce any cogent evidence that the farm house was the scene of the crime and from the farm house the accused persons had taken the body for dumping it in the river to cause disappearance of the body. “There is no evidence that the accused persons had removed the dead body from the farm house and that they had dumped the dead body in the river at Soliem to cause the evidence of the offense to disappear,” he said.
Deceased Sameer Mapari, who was working as a driver for accused Balesh, had gone missing from July 31, 2007. On August 5, 2007, a missing report was lodged at the Curchorem police station, following which the police sent look-out notices for the missing Mapari.
Later on August 8 evening, the Ponda police received a wireless message that an unknown male person was found and the inquest panchayat later revealed that the unknown person was in the age group of 25-35 years, tied to an iron channel with metallic wire packed with cloth and a green colour marble piece tied to the chest of the deceased.
The trial lasted for nearly five years and the prosecution examined around 100 witnesses in support of its case.
Prosecution failed to prove body was of Mapari
MARGAO: Even as the Sessions Court acquitted the accused in the Sameer Mapari murder case, the Court has held that prosecution has failed to prove that the dead body found in the river was that of Sameer Mapari.
The court apparently came to the conclusion on the basis of the fact that the deceased’s DNA and blood samples did not match with that of the parents.
The court came to the conclusion based on the forensic report received form the forensic laboratory at Hyderabad and also based on the clothes worn by the deceased. It is learnt that the investigating agency had dispatched the molar tooth and the blood samples for forensic testing, but the report had come negative. The Court further concluded that the prosecution could not prove that deceased was wearing a yellow colour blue shirt and blue long pant on July 31, 2007 when last seen.
Lost my confidence in judiciary: Mother
MARGAO: South Goa Sessions Court’s order acquitting the accused in the Sameer Mapari murder case triggered bitter protests from Mapari’s relatives, including his ageing mother, uncle and aunty outside the court room.
No sooner after Additional Sessions Judge Desmond D’Costa pronounced his order, Sameer’s mother rushed inside the court room protesting against the order acquitting the three accused.
There was commotion outside the court room as the mother and uncle Srikhant gave vent to their anger over the court ruling. An inconsolable mother of the deceased even charged towards an accused with slippers in her hand, but the escort police stopped any assault on the trio.
The mother said that she has lost her son five years ago and now she has lost her confidence in the judiciary. Sameer’s uncle Srikhant told newsmen that the court’s ruling has shaken their confidence in the judiciary and wondered whether any purpose would be served by an appeal.
I was pressurized during trial, says PP Sardinha
MARGAO: Saying that the Sessions Court order will be referred to the district police chief with a proposal to file an appeal in the high court, Public Prosecutor Sarojini Sardinha has said that she was severely pressurized during the course of the trial in the sensational Sameer Mapari murder case.
“During the course of the trial, I was severely pressurized even by transferring me from the district and further by lodging complaints against me for briefing the witnesses on record of the file,” Sardinha told newsmen after the court verdict. Appreciating the sincere efforts of the investigating officers, PI Manjunath Dessai and DySP Mohan Naik, who were responsible for a breakthrough in the crime, Sardinha said that no stone was left unturned to bring all possible evidence adduced by the investigation on record. “Though July 31, 2007, was a black day for the family of the deceased, today happens to be a black day in the course of my career as a prosecutor. However, I accept the defeat with a clean and clear conscience, treating the same as a stepping stone in all my future endeavours,” she said, while expressing her sympathies with the parents and all villagers of Xelvona.