Mumbai: Teen acquitted of multiple bike thefts in time for HSC exams

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Looks like Sumit Dholkar, 16, (name changed) might be able to give his HSC exams after all. Over one and a half month after his arrest, the teenager, accused of several bike thefts, was acquitted of all charges by the juvenile justice board on February 1.

The Kurar police had arrested Dholkar for a two-wheeler theft on December 19, and claimed to have opened as many as 10 other cases of two-wheeler theft in their jurisdiction. The police suspected his involvement in seven more such cases, but had filed chargesheets in only 10. mid-day had reported about the same in the front-page report, 'Joyride lands Std XII boy in soup as cops pile up charges,' on January 9.

Granted bailDholkar's lawyer Mikhail Dey said JV Pekhale Purkar, principal magistrate (suburban) of the juvenile justice board, Dongri set aside the prosecution's argument of rejecting the bail on the ground that the accused was wanted in 17 cases and that he was a habitual offender. The court had subsequently granted bail to Dholkar in all 10 cases put before the court, on a bail amount of Rs 7,000 in each case except one, where he has to furnish a surety of Rs 15,000.

Soon after the bail was granted, cops filed and submitted chargesheets in all 10 cases. Dey said, "The court pointed out that there were no eyewitnesses to the incidents. Considering Dholkar's good behaviour during his stay at the children's home post his arrest, the court acquitted him in all 10 cases."

'Terrified, shaken up'Dholkar's father refused to believe the police's theory of his son's involvement in the 17 cases and said he was keen to appear for his HSC examinations, "But he has been terrified and shaken up during his time at the correction home. Even after coming out of there, I can still see the fear and anguish in his eyes."

'Hasn't been acquitted'Reacting to Dholkar's acquittal, Udaykumar Rajshirke, senior police inspector of Kurar Police station said, "I do not think he has been acquitted. I still have to go through the juvenile court's order; the papers are not before me."

Rs 63,000 Total bail amount to be given by Dholkar's parents for nine cases

A week back, Thane Crime Branch's unit III recently arrested two minors for stealing bikes, and realised they had stumbled upon the accused in a December 2017 hit-and-run case in Dombivli.

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