30 May 2022 9:15 AM GMT
A special court hearing the alleged murder case of journalist Gauri Lankesh has said that it would hear the case on a day to day basis for a week every month as per the convenience of the parties. The next session of the trial would be between 4th to 8th of July 2022. A Session court judge in its order said, "After having a case management hearing, both the sides agree that the trial...
A special court hearing the alleged murder case of journalist Gauri Lankesh has said that it would hear the case on a day to day basis for a week every month as per the convenience of the parties. The next session of the trial would be between 4th to 8th of July 2022.
A Session court judge in its order said, "After having a case management hearing, both the sides agree that the trial will be fixed for one week continuously on a day to day basis in a month and as per the convenience of the parties. The learned Spl.P.P shall file a memo indicating the witnesses that he is going to examine during such a session of one week."
It added, "It is made clear that the witnesses are to be cross examined continuously after the examination in chief and if the defence wants to cross examine a particular witness after another witness is examined, an application to that effect has to be filed in advance. The parties are impressed upon not to file any application for recalling of the witnesses and it is made clear that any such move would entail heavy costs."
The court also directed that the evidence of the first witness in the case, Kavitha Lankesh (victim's sister) will be recorded once the presence of all the accused is ensured by the court. Registry was also directed to ensure the virtual presence of the accused who are housed in Mumbai Jail. Office is directed to issue summons to the witnesses as per the memo that would be filed by the Spl.P.P.
Accused plea for physical presence in court during trial rejected.
Some of the accused in the case who are lodged in the Arthur road prison in Mumbai had filed an application seeking direction to be produced personally in court during the trial. They also filed an application u/s.273 of Cr.P.C. that these accused may be secured from Mumbai Jail.
The court said ,"The request by defence to physically make these accused to be present during the trial is not feasible as their presence by video conferencing may be secured. Virtual presence having been accepted as the mode of presence before the court, the said prayer is rejected."
It added ,"The jail authorities at Bengaluru and Arthur Road Jail, Mumbai are directed to ensure the virtual presence of the accused during the trial. The request by the defence counsels to contact their clients while they were in jail to obtain instructions is permitted and the jail authorities are directed to provide facility to have conversation either physically or telephonically with them. With these observations, the application is disposed off."
Prosecution sought recording of evidence of Kavitha Lankesh in absence of the accused.
The Special Public Prosecutor informed the court that the witness CW- 1 does not have to identify any of the accused and therefore her evidence may be recorded. The court said, "The presence of the accused during trial being the basic tenet of any trial, such prayer in the absence of consent by the defence is not sustainable."
On October 30, 2021 the court had framed charged against 18 accused alleged to be involved in the murder case. The accused persons after having understood the same pleaded not guilty and claim to be tried.
The accused charged are Amola Khale, Parashuram Ashok Wagmore, Ganesh Miskin, Amith Ramachandra Baddi, Amit Degwekar, Bhaarat Kurane, Suresh H L Alias Teacher, Rajesh D Bangera Alias Sir, Sudhanva Gondalekar Alias Pandejee Alias Oandey Alias Gujjar Alias Mahesh Patil, Sharad Alias Sharad Bahusahib Kalaskar Alias Chotu, N Mohan Nayak Alias Sampanje, Vasudev Bhagwan Suryavanashi Alias Vasu Alias Mechanic, Sujith Kumar Alias Sujith S R Alias Sanjay Alias Manjunath, Manohar Dundeeppa Yadave Alias Manohar Yadeve Alias Manoj, Vikas Pateil Alias Dada Alias Nihal, Srikanth Jaganath Pangarkar Alias Prajee, K T Naveen Kumar Alias Naveen and Rushikesh Devadekar Alias Murali Alias Shiva.
The accused have been charged under section 302, 120B, 114, 118, 109, 201, 203, 204, 35 of the Indian Penal code. Section 25 (1), 25 (1B), 27 (1) of the Arms Act and Sections 3(1) (i), 3(2), 3(3), 3(4) of the Karnataka Organised Crime Act.
The murder took place on September 5, 2017. 18 persons were arrested thereafter. The first charge-sheet in the case was filed against Naveen Kumar on May 30. On November 23, 2018, the SIT submitted an additional 9,235-page chargesheet in the Principal Civil and Sessions court. The second chargesheet named 18 people as accused in the murder.
On October 21, Supreme Court restored the charges under Karnataka Control of Organised Crimes Act (KCOCA) against accused Mohan Nayak, allowing an appeal filed by Gauri Lankesh's sister Kavita Lankesh. The court set aside the judgement of the Karnataka High Court which had quashed the KCOCA charges against Mohan Nayak.
Case Title: Raja Rajeshwari Nagara PS Versus Amola Khale
Case No: SPL.C 872/2018
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