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Monday, July 16, 2018

Stalking Case: Hearing resumes, defence counsel cross-examines former IAS officer Kundu

The defence counsel also asserted that Kundu, with the help of UT Home Secretary, Anurag Aggarwal, got the District Attorney appointed as Special Public Prosecutor, an assertion that was denied by Kundu.

Written by JAGPREET SINGH SANDHU | Chandigarh | Published: January 24, 2018 8:02:07 am

LAWYERS FOR the accused in the Varnika Kundu stalking case are continuing with a strategy to project the victim and her bureaucrat father as “powerful persons” who used their connections in the UT administration and police to influence the sections under which the case was registered. This became apparent when the hearing resumed day in the court of ACJM (Additional Chief Judicial Magistrate), Barjinder Singh, during which Kundu, a senior IAS officer, was examined and cross-examined.

In heated arguments during the proceedings, it was suggested by the defence counsel, Advocate Rabindra Pandit, that the entire IAS lobby joined hands to mount pressure on police and then got added sections in the case to debar the accused Vikas Barala and his friend Ashish Kumar, from securing bail.

Barala is the son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala. Pandit questioned V S Kundu about having talked to IAS officers including Anurag Aggarwal, Ajit Balaji Joshi, Urvashi Gulati, Alok Nigam, Harcharan Das, PK Das, Guruprasad Mohapatra, Sanjeev Kaushal, Keshni Anand Arora, Deepender Deshi and Virender Dahiya on August 5 and August 6. Kundu said many among the listed IAS officials were his batch-mates and some are deputed in Haryana.

Kundu said all the officers are known to him and they called him on August 5, after hearing of the incident involving his daughter.

Advocate Pandit also asked Kundu if INLD leaders Abhay Chautala and Bhupinder Singh Hooda had called him. Kundu agreed that the two had called him but said he did not recall the exact time when they called.

Earlier, the defence questioned Kundu about Sachin Kundu, the state Youth Congress president in Haryana, and his relationship with him. Kundu said he did not know him.

Kundu agreed that he talked to UT Home Secretary, Anurag Aggarwal on afternoon of August 5, but the call could not connect. Later, Aggarwal called back and Kundu requested him to get preserve the CCTV footage of the area where CCTV were available.

Angry words flew when during the cross examination, Advocate Pandit also produced the copy of an email between Varnika and her father, with the transcript of Varnika’s conversation with Police (100) on the night intervening of August 4 and August 5 as she was being followed by Barala and Ashish. The defence argued in the court that Kundu took it to the court of Additional Sessions Judge RK Sharma, where the Vikas Barala had filed for bail, which was denied to him. The defense counsel alleged that the Police provided Varnika with the transcript on August 17, 2017. He said the victim was in possession of the transcript before the challan was submitted.

In response, Special Public Prosecutor, Manu Kakkar asked how the defence had obtained a private email and produced it in court. Advocate Kakkar mentioned that a document cannot be produced by the defence counsel, and under section 145 and 148 of the Indian Evidence Act, it is a private mail exchanged between a father and daughter and requirement of law is to produce the authenticated document in the court, and the document produced by defence counsel has no leg to stand and is an uncertified copy.

The defence counsel also asserted that Kundu, with the help of UT Home Secretary, Anurag Aggarwal, got the District Attorney appointed as Special Public Prosecutor, an assertion that was denied by Kundu. Varnika was trembling and crying at Police Station on incident night.

Kundu identifies accused, their vehicle

Earlier during the examaination in chief, V S Kundu recounted what his daughter Varnika told him about the incident on the intervening night of August 4 and August 5, after she reached home.

Kundu said he along with his daughter reached to Police Station Sector 26 at 1.30 am, where Sub-Inspector Satnam Singh asked Varnika to write down the complaint and about the case.

Kundu stated that after the incident, Varnika was so disturbed and was crying that she was unable to pen down the details of the incident on a piece of paper. Since she was crying, he asked her to relate all that had happened and he wrote it down.

Kundu was also asked to identify the two accused in the case who were present in the court. Kundu told the court that they were same boys who were there on the night of incident and later Kundu also identified the vehicle Tata Safari, car of the accused which was driven by them on night of incident.

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