TN court acquits 9 in late Kannada actor Rajkumar’s abduction case
A district court in Tamil Nadu acquitted the nine suspects accused of abducting Kannada actor Rajkumar in 2000, on the grounds of insufficient evidence
The Third Additional District Court in Gobichettipalayam, Erode district, Tamil Nadu, on Tuesday, September 25, acquitted all the nine persons accused of abducting Kannada actor Rajkumar in 2000.
Judge K Mani, while delivering the judgement said that there was no inquiry conducted after the release of Rajkumar and his wife a key witness in the case did not lodge a complaint with the Talavadi police. The two did not participate in the identification parade to identify the accused.
The actor was kidnapped by sandalwood smuggler Veerappan on July 30, 2000, from his farmhouse in Gajanur village on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border and was released on November 15
The judge also said that the relatives of the three persons who were also abducted did not lodge complaint. He said that no searches were conducted in the accused person’s house to seize weapons or other evidence in the case.
The judge also stated that the audio cassettes demanding ransom were not produced in court and other pieces of evidence were submitted to the court after 10 months. The Supreme Court has clearly stated that evidence, including weapons, should be sealed on the crime spot and be submitted to the court. But in this case, the weapons were not sealed on the spot, the judge observed.
The judge said that the prosecution failed to prove that the nine accused had any connection with Veerappan in the abduction, as no witness or evidence were produced in the court. Giving the benefit of doubt to the accused, all the nine were acquitted, the judge said.
The actor was kidnapped by sandalwood smuggler Veerappan on July 30, 2000, from his farmhouse in Gajanur village on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border. He was released on November 15. Rajkumar died in 2006.
Veerappan and his associates were killed in 2004 by the Tamil Nadu Special Task Force.
(with inputs from The Hindu)