The court of district and sessions judge on Monday framed charges of murder and destruction of evidence against Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary,the prime accused in the killing of Hoshiarpur girl Jyoti Kumari,whose body was allegedly crushed under a truck on a road in the city.
If proven guilty,the Doon MLA can face a death or life sentence.
Apart from the charge of murder under Section 302 of the IPC,District and Sessions Judge Ravi Kumar Sondhi framed other charges as well against the Himachal Pradesh MLA: cheating and forgery under sections 420 and 467 of the IPC,destruction of evidence under Section 201of the IPC,use of fake documents as genuine ones under Section 471 of the IPC,and criminal conspiracy under Section 120-B of the IPC.
The court also framed charges under Section 3 of the SC,ST Act and sub-section 1 and 12 of the same Act against the MLA for killing the girl who belonged to a lower caste.
The court denied bail to the MLA and upheld the order of the chief judicial magistrate (CJM) against whose order he had filed a revision petition.
Besides Chaudhary,charges of murder and destruction of evidence were also framed against his four accomplices: Gurmeet,Paramjeet,Dharampal and Tilak Raj.
The court framed charges of harbouring against Ram Kumars brother Harbhajan under Section 212 of the IPC and three other accused: Nirmal,Kamaljeet and Baljeet. If proven guilty,Harbhajan and three other accused who are currently on bail can face an imprisonment of three years.
The court framed charges of cheating,forgery and use of fake documents as genuine against three other accused,including Ashish and Pankaj Bhandari who allegedly issued SIM cards to the MLA on fake documents,under sections 420,467 and 471 of the IPC. The sentence that could be awarded under these sections could be a prison term of seven years,imprisonment for life or a prison term of seven and ten years respectively.
The District and Sessions Judge upheld the order of the CJM denying bail to the Doon MLA and rejected the revision petition filed by him against the CJMs order. The MLA had filed the revision petition seeking bail on the grounds that the prosecution had filed an incomplete challan against him contending that incomplete challan was no challan in the eyes of law and that the benefit of bail be granted to him as the challan has not been produced in the stipulated period of 90 days.
The court listed the case for trial on August 22. The trial will start with the recording of statements of prosecution witnesses. There are some 88 witnesses in the case,including officials and private witnesses.
Counsel for the accused,Amandeep Bindra,said the accused pleaded not guilty.
Chaudhary has been accused of killing the Hoshiarpur girl with whom he allegedly had a sexual relationship. The MLA and his accomplices including Gurmeet,Paramjeet and Dharmpal,have been accused of killing the girl by crushing her head under a truck. Police have produced evidence in the court against the MLA that he used to speak with the Hoshiarpur girl and his calls were traced to the girls number around the time of murder,and tower locations of the phones that he used were in the same area where the girl was found murdered.