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Public prosecutor caught on the wrong side of law

In a decision termed “rarest of rare” by a city court,a trial court judge found a public prosector on the wrong side of the law.

Written by Utkarsh Anand | New Delhi |
January 8, 2009 1:46:03 am

In a decision termed “rarest of rare” by a city court,a trial court judge found a public prosector on the wrong side of the law.

Indicting the prosecutor for deliberately botching up examination of witnesses in a case of abduction for ransom,Additional Sessions Judge Pratap S Malik has passed strictures against the state’s counsel and sent the copy of his order to the prosecution branch for necessary action.

The judge held that there was a deliberate attempt by the prosecutor to create situations favourable for the three accused,found guilty of abducting one Sanjay Khan for ransom in 2004. Khan had later committed suicide to escape further assault and the court,finding ample evidence on record,had awarded life imprisonment to the trio on Saturday.

The prosecutor had refrained from putting important questions to police officials and other witnesses that could help the prosecution nail the accused in a more convincing manner,the court observed.

ASJ Malik observed that the prosecutor had reportedly asked only a few questions from an inspector who had collected call details of phone numbers belonging to the accused,though they formed the “most central part of evidence pertaining to conspiracy,presence,execution and detention.” The judge said in his order: “The learned prosecutor did not bother to get a single telephone number uttered from the mouth of this witness,who was the real investigator of the telephone numbers. There is no need of arguing who was going to be benefitted by such a lapse.” The prosecutor also did not properly examine the victim’s brother,a complainant in the case,and another hostile witness,the order held.   

Urging the higher authorities to take specific note of the observations made by the court,ASJ Malik observed that it is left to them to assess the conduct of the prosecutor.

A senior official in the prosecution department told Newsline that they were waiting for a report from the concerned chief prosecutor. An in-house probe would be carried out after that.

“This is unprecedented; we have not received a judgment with this kind of strictures against a prosecutor till date,” the official said. “If the prosecutor comes out clean,we may approach the Delhi High Court for getting the remarks expunged.”

Asked about the report,chief prosecutor H K Sharma expressed ignorance and said he would be in a state to comment only after receiving a copy.

ASJ Malik said this trial was an example where all the three agencies — prosecution,police and witnesses — failed to act “dutifully”,making it very difficult for the courts to function properly.

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