Updated: May 29, 2021 9:34:51 pm
Observing that “no one is above law”, a Delhi court has remanded two-time Olympic medallist Sushil Kumar to police custody for four days in connection with the murder of a 23-year-old wrestler.
Metropolitan Magistrate Mayank Goel passed the order in which he wrote, “No one is above law and law treats everyone equally. Though constitution guarantees the right to life and liberty to all persons whether they are accused or not but that right is also subject to certain exceptions. Moreover, the importance of initial days of investigation to unearth the truth also has to be seen. The court is duty bound to strike a balance between the fairness of investigation and the rights of the accused.”
The court said that the allegations against both the accused are serious. It added that some of the accused on the run belong to notorious gangs and the mobile phone and clothes of accused persons are yet to be recovered.
The Delhi Police had moved an application seeking further seven days of custody for Kumar stating that he was the mastermind of the heinous crime.
On May 4, Sagar Dhankhar, who had competed in the 97-kg Greco-Roman category, was beaten to death following a clash between two groups. Kmar, who had been initially on the run after the murder, was later arrested.
Advocate Ashish Kajal, the prosecutor in the case, moved an application seeking seven days of custody for the accused.
Kajal told the court that till Saturday, eight people have been arrested in the case.
The prosecution told the court that the police has recovered one licensed pistol belonging to Sushil Kumar.
“We need further police custody. Sushil Kumar is the mastermind and main culprit of the heinous crime in which a young wrestler died… [It is] evident from the video clip seized from one of the accused and statement of eyewitness, ” Kajal told the court.
The prosecution alleged that the accused persons have not cooperated with the investigation which made it difficult for them “to collect all incriminating evidence.”
“Some material things like vehicles, its ownership are yet to be discovered. Seven open vehicles were seized from the spot. Link of four has been established. The absconding persons are also to be connected,” Kajal told the court.
The prosecution told the court that the mobile phones of accused persons are yet to be recovered and that there were 18-20 persons involved in the offences of abduction who are yet to be arrested.
“Absconding persons, their whereabouts have to be identified. Those concealing and harbouring these accused persons are yet to be recovered. Clothes they were wearing are yet to recovered…Opportunity must be given to investigating agency to bring out the truth,” Kajal told the court.
Advocate Pradeep Rana, who appeared on behalf of Sushil Kumar, told the court that he opposed the remand application and questioned how a video of the incident was leaked on social media.
“How six days were used by the agency? What have they done in six days? Court must go through the case diary day by day. If the mobile is in custody, video is in custody, after providing custody to police, the video came out in social media. How was it given to media persons?” Rana told the court.
Rana also told the court that no further indulgence should be given to police. What was stopping the police from confronting him with the co-accused who were recently arrested, he asked.
On the seized pistol, Rana told the court, “Can they say that the seized licensed pistol was used in this case? Not at all…There has to be something related to the case. It was not used in this case. They are spending in precious time in hyping the case.”
Rana further said that he was not objecting to a fair investigation, but no ground for further custody was made out.
Rana also apprised the court of a Delhi High Court order which states that cooperation does not mean that one should dance to the tune of the police. “You want me to confess,” Rana told the court.
Kajal rebutted the defence counsel’s arguments by stating. “It is matter of investigation if pistol was used. It is a matter of consideration. Prosecution will argue at the stage of framing of charge. Investigation is yet to be concluded.”
On the leak of the video, Kajal told the court, “Video clip is a matter of inquiry. Maybe some other person has leaked. Investigation is the prerogative of the investigating agency. Accused can’t direct or guide in which manner investigation is to be done.”
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