After 22 long years, the owners of a well-known clothing store in the Indian city were able to get back their stolen gold worth over ₹8 crores, following a court order.
According to Times of India, on January 5, Sessions judge U J More passed an order to hand over the property, comprising one gold coin containing Queen Victoria’s picture, two gold bracelets, and two ingots weighing 1,300 grams and 200 milligrams (collectively worth ₹13 lakh then and now over ₹8 crore) to Raju Daswani, the son of the store founder Arjan Daswani.
Public prosecutor Iqbal Solkar as well as inspector Sanjay Donnar of Colaba police stated they had no objection to return the property.
Various bills and receipts were submitted by Raju which verified that the items belonged to his family.
“No purpose will suffice by keeping the articles, especially gold articles, in the custody of the police. More than 19 years have passed. The judgment of acquittal in this case (was) by the learned session court. No progress (made) in the arrest of two absconding accused.
“If a complainant is asked to wait for years and years together for the return of his own property, it would be a mockery of justice and abuse of the process of law,” the order said.
A precedent was cited too. “Considering the ratio laid down in Sunderbai Ambala Desai’s case, the applicant is entitled to return of all the properties claimed in the application,” the order said.
As reported by Times of India, Arjan Daswani’s house was under attack by a gang armed with knives on May 8, 1998. They tied up Daswani and his wife and fled with the booty.
Later on, police arrested three of the thieves and in 1998 recovered part of the booty.
The court directed the police to take pictures and prepare detailed handing-over documentation.
Raju Daswani’s lawyer, Sunil Pandey, said: “It’s a major relief to the family as there is a lot of emotional attachment to the ornaments, which are from their ancestors.”