THE PATHANKOT District and Sessions Court on Friday directed SSP, Crime Branch, Jammu, Ramesh Kumar Jalla to appear in the court on Monday after none of the summoned witnesses in the Kathua gangrape and murder case were produced before the trial court. A day after the trial court framed charges against the seven accused in the case, 17 witnesses had been summoned for examination. However, the prosecution is learnt to have informed the court that they were not able to serve the summons and requested for more time to produce the witnesses.
The prosecution also told the court that they were facing hurdles in producing the witnesses due to Ramzan as most witnesses are busy with religious duties. However, sources said, Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh was not convinced with the reason cited by the prosecution as they had not brought back the summons. The witnesses summoned by the court included those from Rasana village in Kathua and official witnesses. The court had issued summons on Thursday afternoon after framing of charges against the accused. There are around 221 witnesses in the case and the Supreme Court has directed the Pathankot court to conduct a fast-track and in-camera trial.
The apex court has also directed J & K government “to transport the witnesses to Pathankot and provide all other necessary facilities, including food, etc. so that the witnesses do not face any difficulty”.