Speedy trial: Eight months after theft, man held guilty

Less than eight months after he committed theft of several lakhs, broke into a shop and set the shop on fire, a local court on Monday held Rakesh Sharma, a resident of Shimla, guilty of theft and trespass.

He was also held guilty of destruction of evidence and setting the shop on fire. The Panchkula Police had arrested the 24 years old for stealing cameras valued around Rs 20 lakh in April.

The court of District and Sessions Judge R K Sondhi is likely to pronounce quantum of sentence on Tuesday.

Verma, a photographer by profession, had stolen cameras from a photo studio in Sector 16 and later set it on fire so that nobody could expect it to be a theft case. He was then staying in Manimajra and was arrested by the police within a week. Verma was a former employee of the shop.

He was accused of stealing cameras worth Rs 20 lakh and for setting the shop ablaze to cause disappearance of evidence. The police had reportedly recovered four cameras, including one worth Rs 10 lakh, from his house here.

The case had taken a dramatic turn when Verma alleged that he was tortured by two policemen during custody at the Sector 16 police post. He alleged that he was sodomised. The police had then ordered an inquiry into the case on the directions of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Court and also transferred two Assistant Sub-Inspectors Raj Kumar and Surinder Singh to the District Police Lines.

The accusations were found baseless in an inquiry held by the police and a cancellation report in the case registered against two ASIs was filed in the court.

On Monday, Verma was found guilty of house breaking, theft in dwelling house and mischief by fire with an intent to destroy house and causing disappearance of evidence under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code.

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