Judge objects to cross-examination of victim’s friend based on TV interview

Delhi gangrape Two more journalists working for foreign media barred from attending trial.

Written by Sumegha Gulati | New Delhi | Published: May 2, 2013 12:46:54 am

Delhi gangrape Two more journalists working for foreign media barred from attending trial.

The male friend of the December 16 gangrape victim appeared before the court on Wednesday for cross-examination but the court prevented the defence counsel from posing any questions to him regarding the contents of an interview he had given to a news channel days after the incident.

Cross-examining the software engineer on behalf of accused Mukesh,advocate V K Anand asked him if he had mentioned in the TV interview that when the SDM went to record the statement of the victim,he (the friend) was “approached by police authorities to remain present and assist her as everyone was of the opinion that the victim would be able to give a proper statement”.

Disallowing the question,Additional Sessions Judge Yogesh Khanna noted that the use of the interview as evidence had been stayed by the Supreme Court.

“Questions related to the contents of the interview given by the complainant cannot be allowed as it would indirectly allow the use of the video CD for the purpose of cross-examination under the Indian Evidence Act,” he said.

After Anand submitted that he intended to ask “almost all questions” connected with the interview given by the complainant to a channel,the judge considered that the complainant’s initial questioning was disallowed in view of the Supreme Court’s stay order and the matter was to come up before the apex court on Friday. He then deferred the complainant’s cross-examination to May 8.

The judge also said that the defence counsel cannot check the “veracity and credibility” of the interview at this stage.

Speaking to reporters after the proceedings,the complainant said that he was “fine now” and met the victim’s family once in a while. He said he has started working again and has also set up his own NGO to help people from marginalised sections.

On his demand for a government job,he said,“When the incident happened,many people including politicians had come forward that they would extend “any kind of help”. But when nothing happened,I realised they did not wish to help me. So,I decided to go back to the job I had before the gangrape incident happened.”

On Wednesday,before the proceedings began,special public prosecutor Dayan Krishnan submitted before ASJ Yogesh Khanna that since the victim’s friend and the lone eyewitness to the incident was appearing before the court,he wanted to be “doubly sure that there were no foreign media present in the courtroom in accordance with an High Court order”.

At this,two Indians working for foreign media organisations stood up and told the court that they were working for foreign organisations. They were asked by the court to leave.

According to the High Court order,only journalists working with accredited national dailies,apart from PTI and UNI,are allowed to cover the proceedings. All other journalists,including those working for electronic media and others,must take the reports from these agencies.

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