A man and her daughter, who lied on oath leading to acquittal of an accused charged with the murder of their own kin, were issued a notice by the Principal Sessions Judge of Kathua in J&K, Sanjay Dhar, asking them to explain as to why they should not be punished for perjury.
The case pertained to the murder of one Vaishno Devi who, following strained relationship with her husband was living at the house of her father Thakur Dass. On January 1, 2013, Thakur Dass rang up Basohli police station informing that his daughter has been gunned down at his house by one Pawan Dev Singh who suspected his father Raj Singh had illicit relationship with her.
Raj Singh, according to police investigations, had been a frequent visitor to the house of Thakur Dass and was coerceing his daughter for sex despite objection from the latter. At the time of alleged occurance, Raj Singh was present with the deceased.
“It is a matter of great concern that moral fabric of our society has degenerated to such an extent that even parents and siblings of a the victim of a heinous crime like murder are unable to muster moral courage to speak truth about the occurrence,’’ judge observed while acquitting accused for want of prosecution evidence. “While we, as members of civil society, lose no opportunity in criticizing the criminal justice system of our country whenever a criminal goes scot free after committing a crime, but we rarely realize that it is the duty of every citizen to help the investigating agency as well as criminal courts to bring the culprits to book,’’ he observed.
“In the instant case, the fact that kith and kin of the victim have resiled from their statements recorded during investigation of the case, shows that our society is heading towards moral and ethical bankruptcy,’’ the judge observed, adding that “we as a society will have to rise to the occasion and discharge our duties as citizens rather than focusing only on our rights’’.
Reverting back to the case, he held that prima facie prosecution witnesses Thakur Dass and his daughter Santosh Kumari have committed offences of perjury and they deserve to be dealt with in accordance to the provisions contained in Section 479-B of Criminal Procedure Code. Let a notice be issued to both of them directing them to show cause on or before July 15 as to why they should not be punished in accordance with the provisions contained in Section 479-B of CrPC, he ordered.