Satish Koli, a native of Madhya Pradesh, residing in Navelim was acquitted of charges of murder by the Sessions Court, Margao, on August 5.
Koli was charged with assaulting one Shavir Khan with an iron rod on the head on October 6, 2018. Khan died while undergoing treatment at the Goa Medical College hospital, Bambolim.
The case of the prosecution was based on the ‘last-seen’ theory, while the defence claimed that the prosecution had failed to prove motive, which is necessary if the evidence is circumstantial.
The defence counsel also failed to establish a link between the accused and the weapon.
Shavir Khan, a tailor by profession, was residing in a room on the first floor of Stanley’s Restaurant in Navelim along with his family. He and the family left for Madhya Pradesh on learning that his brother had expired. He returned alone a week later and continued to reside in the room.
Some days later, three others — Avdesh Sharma, Shanu Khan and the accused also took up residence in the same room. The ‘last-seen’ theory was based entirely on the statements of
Sharma and Shanu who said they had last seen the accused with the victim.
Sharma and Khan told the police that they woke up on October 6 morning and offered tea to the accused who refused. The victim was still asleep. Thereafter, they left the room around 8 am.
On the same day Shaikh Mulla, who was in search of labourers picked up Sharma for some work. Since Sharma did not have his clothes they both went to the room to get them. Mulla remained
down while Sharma when up to the room. That was when he discovered that the victim had been assaulted and was bleeding.
On examining the evidence, Sessions Judge Irshad Agha stated in the judgement that if the case of the prosecution is to be believed, a question arises as to why only the accused would commit the murder and not Sharma and Shanu as both were roommates.
“Therefore there is a possibility that the murder must have been committed by some third person,” the Judge observed.
On the recovery of the clothes worn by the accused at the time of the murder, the judgement notes that there are too many inconsistencies and hence, the prosecution has failed to prove that the clothes were recovered at the instance of the accused.
Lastly, the case came apart as the fingerprints of the accused were not on the assault weapon.