Kathua rape-murder trial begins: Seven accused seek narco test

Ankur Sharma, the counsel for Sanji Ram and five other accused, said the accused have been demanding CBI probe and seeking a narco test to prove their innocence.

Written by Arun Sharma | Kathua | Updated: April 17, 2018 3:05:04 am
Deepika Singh Rajawat, the lawyer for the victim’s family, at the Supreme Court. (Reuters) Deepika Singh Rajawat, the lawyer for the victim’s family, at the Supreme Court. (Reuters)

On the first day of hearing in the case of rape and murder of an eight year-old Bakarwal girl at Rasana in Jammu, the accused sought a narco examination from the trial court.

After seven of the eight accused — except a juvenile — were produced before Principal Sessions Judge, Kathua, Sanjeev Gupta, former revenue official Sanji Ram, who the Crime Branch has alleged is main conspirator, requested the court for a narco test. “We all are ready to undergo narco test and none of us has any objection to it,’’ he said. The other accused, comprising Sanji Ram’s son Vishal Jangotra, Sub Inspector Anand Dutta, Head Constable Tilak Raj, Special Police Officers Deepak Khajuria and Surinder Kumar and Rasana resident Parvesh Kumar, backed Sanji Ram.

The Crime Branch has alleged that the crime was part of a conspiracy hatched by Sanji Ram to terrorise Bakarwals and drive them out of the area.

Ankur Sharma, the counsel for Sanji Ram and five other accused, said the accused have been demanding CBI probe and seeking a narco test to prove their innocence. Among the remaining accused, Sub Inspector Dutta has not engaged any counsel, while Head Constable Tilak Raj is being represented by advocates A K Sawhney and Aseem Sawhney.

The court directed the prosecution to supply copies of challan with all the documents annexed with it to the accused in Kathua district jail by 4 pm on Tuesday. This followed a submission by Tilak Raj’s counsels that he had not been provided complete set of the chargesheet.

Meanwhile, the Principal Sessions Judge, who also happens to be Chairman of the District Legal Service Authority, awarded a compensation of Rs 2 lakh to the victim’s family under Section 545 (2) A of the Criminal Procedure Code and the Jammu and Kashmir Victim Compensation Scheme 2013. The disbursement of compensation will be made if the victim’s father files an undertaking that in the case of the trial court ordering the accused to pay any amount as compensation, he will remit the amount, whether equal or as ordered, whichever is less.

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