DSP LYNCHING CASE: Year on, only 4 of 84 witnesses examined

Though the prosecution witnesses were present during last eight hearings, however they could not record the statement as accused were not produced before the court.

MUDASIR YAQOOB
Srinagar, Publish Date: Jun 21 2018 11:19PM | Updated Date: Jun 21 2018 11:19PM
DSP LYNCHING CASE: Year on, only 4 of 84 witnesses examinedFile Photo

Twenty one persons including four juveniles are facing trial in deputy superintendent of police, Muhammad Ayub Pandit’s lynching last year. And despite passing of a year, only four out of 84 witnesses have been examined so far. 

Pandit was lynched at Nowhatta area of Downtown during Shab-e-Qadr on 22 June 2017.  After completing investigations, police filed charge sheet in court against 17 persons on 7 October 2017. It also separately filed challan against four juveniles accused in the case.

Out of 84 prosecution witnesses, a few have been examined before the court of fourth additional district and sessions judge. 17 accused are lodged in different jails while four juveniles have been granted bail by the juvenile court CJM Srinagar.

Though the prosecution witnesses were present during last eight hearings, however they could not record the statement as accused were not produced before the court.

“So far, just four prosecution witnesses have been examined by the court. Now, the state is not producing accused before the court as no witness can be examined in absence of accused as per the provisions of law. This is being done by state to prolong the trial,” said advocate GN Ronga who represents 10 accused in the case.

“The accused have been shifted from Srinagar Central Jail to other jails in violation of court orders. We have made submission before the court that all the accused be granted bail and we would furnish guarantee that all the accused will be present on every date of hearing before the court,” Ronga said. 

“The accused are presently under judicial custody, and not lodged in jails because of any sub-administrative order. So, the administration cannot shift them to any other jails at their will.”

Advocate Mushtaq Ahmad Dar who represents rest of seven accused in the case said that “authorities are deliberately prolonging the trial.”

“Sometimes accused are not brought, sometimes prosecutor is absent during the hearing. It is all to delay the justice to the innocent persons (accused),” he said.

“Though the authorities claim that they (accused) were shifted as Srinagar Central Jail is under repairs, the fact is that the move is aimed to harass the accused and deny them the right to have meetings with their family and counsels,” he said. 

“Some witnesses are coming forward themselves to record their statements before the court. However, in absence of prosecutor, the proceedings are not taking place,” he said, adding, “It is endeavor and desire of the authorities to prolong the trial.” He said that speedy trial is the right of his clients.

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