Acquitted in a fake currency case,former Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP),Gurcharan Singh Pherurai,will now have to face a re-trial.
A division bench of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice Mahesh Grover of the Punjab and Haryana High Court Monday ordered re-trial of the case while ruling that the trial in a lower court against Pherurai and his brother,Gurmail Singh,depicted monstrous perversities and gross abuse of process of law.
Coming down heavily on the judge who had conducted the trial,the Bench said,the trial judge had remained a mute spectator in a scenario where,one by one,all the prosecution witnesses were turning hostile. The judge conducted himself as if,under the law,he was obliged to remain silent and consider only the versions narrated by the prosecution witnesses in court and on that basis he was left with no option but to acquit the accused.
Passing strictures on the trial court,the Bench gave it four months to complete the re-trial. It also recommended action against the hostile witnesses for misleading the court by giving false evidence.
Giving the trial court six months to complete an inquiry pertaining submission of false evidence,the HC directed it to file a complaint under Section 340 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC).
Earlier,Pherurai and his brother were arrested by the Punjab Police on September 23,2002,after more than Rs 5 lakh in fake currency was allegedly recovered from their house.
While the police witnesses had earlier accused the duo,they backtracked during the trial. Only one prosecution witness remained stuck to his statement.
The matter had reached the High Court after Justice Ranjit Singh had taken suo motu cognizance of a news report highlighting the U-turn taken by the witnesses.