KATHUA, Apr 16: Pleading innocence and not to guilty, the eight people accused of raping and killing an eight-year-old girl appealed the District and Sessions Judge, Kathua before whom they were produced for trial today, for a narco analysis test.
As the trial in the case began here, the District and Sessions Judge Kathua, Sanjeev Gupta asked the State Crime Branch to give copies of the chargesheet to the accused and fixed April 28 as the next date of hearing.
This was apparently very rare that accused themselves pleaded before the court for their narco analysis test to prove their innocence as they claimed that they have been framed in the case.
Of the eight people accused of the crime, one is a juvenile who is also under arrest.
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He moved a bail application before a Judicial Magistrate. Immediately after the brief hearing in the Sessions Court, the seven accused were shifted back to the jail under heavy security.
According to the chargesheets filed by the Crime Branch, the abduction, rape and killing of the girl was part of a carefully planned strategy to remove the minority nomadic community from the area.
The caretaker of the ‘Devisthan’, a small temple, Sanji Ram is listed as the main conspirator behind the crime.
Immediately after the brief hearing in the Sessions Court, the seven accused were shifted back to the jail under heavy security.
Sanji Ram care taker of the Devasthan in Rassana village 60 kms from Jammu has been named main conspirator in the case by Crime Branch.
He was allegedly joined by Special Police Officers, Deepak Khajuria and Surender Verma, friend Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu, Ram’s nephew, a juvenile, and his son Vishal Jangotra alias “Shamma”.
The chargesheet also named Investigating Officers, Head Constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector, Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs four lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.
As the trial began inside the court, Ram’s daughter Madhu Sharma protested outside, demanding a CBI probe. She criticised the media for giving one sided version and said that where was the media during last three months. She reiterated that they want the CBI probe into the murder and kidnapping of the girl. “We don’t want that the arrested persons be released but want a fair CBI probe into the matter to ascertain the facts”, the agitated daughter of Ram said.
She said “we have not protected any rapist but demand the CBI probe into the matter so that the real culprits are brought to book. She alleged that the real culprits have been given refuge by Government itself so we demand CBI probe to get them punished”.
The issue of providing the accused copies of the “challan”, or the chargesheet, was raised before the judge by the lawyer, Ankush Sharma, who is pleading the case for Sanji Ram, his son and others.
He told reporters that the chargesheet was presented in court on April 9 but copies had not yet been provided.
Ram told the judge that they wanted narco analysis tests and were ready for that.
The judge asked the accused whether they had been given copies of the chargesheet, which runs into 400 pages, said A K Sawhney, who is representing Head Constable Tilak Raj.
Special Police Officer Deepak Khajuria, who is alleged to have repeatedly raped the child, told reporters from the police van that he was also demanding a narco analysis test, also known as the “truth test”, and a CBI probe.
There was heavy police presence at the Kathua complex following the tension on April 9 when members of the local Bar Association did not allow the Crime Branch to submit its chargesheet in the case.
The chargesheet also named investigating officers head constable Tilak Raj and Sub-Inspector Anand Dutta, who allegedly took Rs 4 lakh from Ram and destroyed crucial evidence.
The issue of providing the accused copies of the “challan”, or the chargesheet, was raised before the judge by the lawyers, Ankush Sharma, who is pleading the case for Sanji Ram, his son and others, told reporters.
He said the chargesheet was presented in court on April 9 but copies had not yet been provided till date.
In a narco analysis test, the subject is injected with Sodium Pentothal or Sodium Amytal. The dose is dependent on the person’s sex, age, health and physical condition.
It does not have any legal sanctity as evidence until a court gives permission to conduct these tests. The test only helps as corroborative and not as primary evidence, say legal experts.
Defending the demand of CBI probe, defence advocate Ankur Sharma said that the Crime Branch (CB) chargesheet is political chargesheet as it talks of a demographic change which is totally an unprofessional conduct of CB.
He said some children gave a statement that how they were harassed and tortured by the CB and forced to make false statements while a chemist was also lifted and asked to give a prescription in back date. This all creates suspicions and hence the people demand a CBI probe.
He said advocates for defence will try to meet the accused in court to record their statements “and in case we fail we will seek permission from the court to record their statements in jail”.
While terming the charge-sheet as State sponsored, he said that there are no two thoughts that no innocent person should be punished and this is the reason that the people are demanding CBI probe and they have come on roads.
Meanwhile the Counsil for Head Constable, Advocate A K Sawhney and Aseem Sawhney told reporters that when they tried to meet their client in jail they were not allowed by the jail authorities.
“We reported before the jail authorities at 11.30 am to meet our client and we were made to wait for two hours and later told that we can’t meet them across the table and in case we want to meet our client we have to meet him behind the bars, the jail authorities told us”, said A K Sawhney.
He said this is the violation of Supreme Court directives under which a lawyer can meet his client in a jail across the table that too in privacy.
Showing concern for the safety of their client the two lawyers said that arrested persons have already been tortured by the police a lot.
Meanwhile, Chairman District Legal Service Authority Kathua Sanjeev Gupta today awarded Rs two lakh compensation to Victim’s family under Sub-Section (2) of Section 545-A of CrPC under the provisions of Jammu & Kashmir Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013.
While awarding compensation Chairman Gupta observed that compensation to the tune of Rs 2 lakh is awarded in favour of the legal heirs of the victim under the Jammu & Kashmir Victim Compensation Scheme, 2013, subject to the condition that the father of the victim shall file an undertaking before the disbursement of the compensation amount that if the trial court, while passing final judgment in the challan, orders the accused persons to pay any amount by way of compensation under Sub-Section (3) of Section 545 of CrPC, he shall remit an amount ordered equal to the amount of compensation, or the amount ordered to be paid under said Sub-Section (3), which ever is less.
Pleading innocence, Rassana case accused demand narco test