Crime Br presses per­jury charges against Kathua case wit­ness


The Jammu and Kash­mir crime branch has ini­ti­ated the process of press­ing per­jury charges against a wit­ness in the case of rape and mur­der of an eight-yearold girl af­ter he had re­tracted from a "con­fes­sional state­ment" recorded in front of a mag­is­trate, of­fi­cials said Thurs­day.

A show-cause no­tice has been served to Ajay Ku­mar alias 'Ajju' by the ses­sions judge of Pathankot, Te­jwinder Singh, ask­ing him to ex­plain on Mon­day "why an ac­tion un­der sec­tion 479B of Jammu and Kash­mir Crim­i­nal Pro­ce­dure Code may not be ini­ti­ated against him".

This sec­tion pro­vides sum­mary pro­ce­dure for trial of wit­nesses de­pos­ing con­trary to state­ments recorded un­der Sec­tion 164A (ev­i­dence of ma­te­rial wit­nesses to be recorded by Mag­is­trate in cer­tain cases). Ku­mar had recorded his state­ment be­fore a ju­di­cial mag­is­trate in Jammu on Feb­ru­ary 27 this year in which he had claimed that Parvesh Ku­mar alias 'Mannu' had given a graph­i­cal de­scrip­tion about the rape and sub­se­quent mur­der of the girl be­long­ing to a no­madic com­mu­nity. The no­tice served on Ku­mar says "whereas an ap­pli­ca­tion has been filed by pros­e­cu­tion for ini­ti­at­ing ac­tion against you for vol­un­tary and know­ingly re­tract­ing from your state­ment un­der sec­tion 164A CRPC dur­ing your de­po­si­tion as a pros­e­cu­tion wit­ness be­fore court, a show-cause no­tice is is­sued to you as to why an ac­tion un­der sec­tion 479-B of CRPC may not be ini­ti­ated against you."

"You may ap­pear be­fore this court in

per­son or be rep­re­sented by a coun­sel on 12.11.2018," the no­tice from the ses­sions court of Pathankot said. The ses­sion judge is hold­ing trial for the grue­some Kathua rape-and-mur­der case on direc­tions of the Supreme Court.

The trial was as­signed to the district and ses­sions court in Pathankot by the Supreme Court ear­lier this year af­ter the vic­tim's fam­ily ap­proached with a plea to trans­fer the case from Kathua.

The eight-year-old girl, be­long­ing to a no­madic tribe, was al­legedly kid­napped on Jan­uary 10 and her body was found on Jan­uary 17. It is al­leged that she was gan­graped and later mur­dered. The crime branch has ar­rested eight peo­ple, in­clud­ing a ju­ve­nile in the case. The charge sheet has been filed against Sanji Ram and his ju­ve­nile nephew, his son Vishal, spe­cial po­lice of­fi­cers Deepak Kha­juria and Suren­der Verma and friend Parvesh Ku­mar alias Mannu.

The charge sheet also names head con­sta­ble Ti­lak Raj and sub-in­spec­tor Anand Dutta -- who al­legedly took Rs 4 lakh from Sanji Ram and de­stroyed cru­cial ev­i­dence. The district and ses­sions court in Pathankot framed charges of rape and mur­der against the seven ac­cused in the case on June 8.

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