Diamond bangle theft: Cops use wrong section, accused walks free

Indramal Joshi, resident of Versova, Mumbai was recently acquitted by JMFC, Panaji of charges of purchasing a diamond bangle from a couple who allegedly stole it from a jewellery shop in Panaji.

In November 2008, Hanif Kalsekar and his wife Saman induced the staff of Inter Gold Gems Pvt Ltd at Panaji to deliver a gold bangle with a solitare diamond costing Rs 4.75 lakh by swiping their ICICI credit card at the machine.

A bank settlement slip was generated stating that the transaction was successful. However, on the next day the staff learnt from ICICI bank that the card was genuine but that the credit limit had been exceeded and the money was not released.

The bangle was apparently sold to Joshi and it was recovered by the police during the investigation. Joshi was charged under section 411 of IPC for dishonestly receiving stolen property.

However, the judgement pointed out that Joshi could not be convicted as the police had used the wrong IPC section. If any person is to be charged under section 411, then the main section under which co-accused should be charged is Section 380 which is theft from a dwelling place.

Instead, Hanif and his wife (main accused) were charged under Section 420, which is dishonesty and cheating.

The argument of the court was simple. If property was not stolen (section 380) then there is no question of receiving stolen property (section 411).

“This accused has been charged under the wrong section of the IPC and therefore deserves a clean chit in this case,” the judgement, dated 5 April, noted.

While public prosecutor R Barreto represented the State, Advocate M D’Souza defended the accused.

Hanif and his wife are absconding and are yet to be brought to trial.



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