Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Jain has dismissed a plea moved by the father of one of the convicts, wherein the credibility of the sole eye witness in the case was challenged as being 'tutored'.
While refusing to provide relief, the court termed the attempt of moving such an application as 'malafide' and 'desperate'. However, it refused to impose any costs on the applicant as his son is 'one step away from the gallows'.
The present revision application was filed by Hira Lal Gupta, father of one of the four convicts Pawan Gupta, against an order passed by the Magistrate on 06/01/2020.
In that order, the Magistrate had rejected the application wherein the testimony of Awninder Pratap Pandey, the sole eye witness in the case, was challenged as being false and fabricated.
The applicant had relied upon the tweets of former MD of Hindi News Channels such as 'News24' and 'IndiaTV', wherein it was mentioned that the channel had conducted a sting operation on Awninder Pandey. The said tweets claimed that the broadcasting of the sting operation could have adversely affected the credibility of the sole eye witness in the case.
In light of such tweets, the applicant had first filed a complaint at RK Puram Police Station, however due to no action on the same by police, a plea was moved before the Magistrate under section 156(3) of CrPC.
After the disposal of the application by the Magistrate, a revision petition was moved before the Sessions Judge on the ground that the Magistrate did not follow a fair procedure in dealing with the application.
It was submitted that the Magistrate did not even call for the Action Taken Report (ATR). Moreover, it not only dismissed the application but also went on to dismiss the complaint.
The applicant also argued that he was not allowed to present his witnesses under section 200 of the CrPC.
To discredit the credibility of the sole eye witness, it was further argued that the said witness has accumulated lacs and crores by allegedly taking 'bribes' from the media channels. Moreover, his father and brother-in law have a criminal record which runs into over 40 cases.
Challenging the said application, Public Prosecutor argued that the said plea is not maintainable under section 195(b)(i) of CrPC, as the trial court had already dealt with the issue of disclosures to be made under sections 193 and 194 of CrPC.
Further, it was submitted that the convict is trying to stall the execution proceedings by moving all these petitions through his father, who has no locus.
Counsels appearing for victim's parents argued that the said plea was also raised by Pawan in his review petition but the same was rejected by the Supreme Court.
The court accepted the arguments made by the Prosecutor and held that the present application is barred by section 195(b)(i) of CrPC. It said:
'The complaint for invoking the offence of perjury is to be made in writing by the court or the officer of the court, but the said procedure is absent here.'
Therefore, the revision application is dismissed as being devoid of merits.