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Nirbhaya: Delhi Court dismisses plea assailing credibility of sole eye-witness

The Court opined that the plea had no merits.

Aditi Singh

A Delhi Court today dismissed a plea by the father of Nirbhaya convict Pawan, assailing the credibility of the sole eye-witness of the incident.

Additional Sessions Judge AK Jain said in its order,

“The acts of the complainant who is father of convict Pawan Kumar Gupta appear desperate and malafide.. The present revision petition has no merits, hence, dismissed.”
ASJ Jain

Pawan’s father (Complainant) had moved a Court of Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate alleging that the testimony of the eye-witness was false and fabricated in light of media reports suggesting that he had taken money to appear on TV for interviews.

The Complainant had sought initiation of criminal action for perjury against the eye-witness in terms of Section 156(3) CrPC read with Section 200 CrPC.

The application was, however, rejected by the ACMM.

The complainant, thereafter, moved the Sessions Court under revision jurisdiction.

Before the Additional Sessions Court, the Complainant alleged that the ACMM did not adopt a fair procedure while disposing of his complaint.

The Complainant argued that there was no ground to dismiss his complaint at the threshold and he should not be deprived of his rights to surface the truth through trial.

Pressing for initiation of criminal action, he submitted that the conduct of the sole eye-witness was suspicious and that he accumulated lacs of money by bargaining from news channels.

The Prosecution argued that there was no infirmity in the ACMM’s order and it was merely a tactic to stall the proceedings of execution against the convicts.

It was further submitted that the media reports on the eye-witness taking money had nothing to do with the main trial which had attained finality.

The Court was further informed that the same plea was taken by Pawan in his review petition as well and the same was dismissed.

In view of the submissions made by the Prosecution, the Court opined that complaint was rightly dismissed by the ACMM.

It stated that no court could take cognizance of perjury under Sections 191/193/194 CrPC due to the bar under Section 195(b)(i) CrPC.

It stated that for the offence of perjury, a complaint has to be in writing by the court or the officer appointed by the court, which was absent in the present case.

The Court, therefore, dismissed the Complainant’s revision petition for being devoid of any merit. It nonetheless, did not impose any costs on the Complainant as his “son is one step away from the gallows’.

On December 16, 2012, six men in Delhi had brutally gang-raped a young woman, later named ‘Nirbhaya’, in a moving bus. The victim succumbed to her injuries two weeks later at a hospital in Singapore.

Of the six accused, the main accused committed suicide in Tihar jail during the course of the trial and the juvenile accused was sentenced to three years in a remand home upon conviction. The remaining four were handed a death penalty by the Additional Sessions Judge.

In May 2017, the Supreme Court had upheld the death penalty awarded to the Nirbhaya convicts.

Finally, on January 7, 2020, Judge Satish Kumar Arora had issued the death warrant against the four convicts, namely Mukesh, Pawan, Vinay and Akshay for January 22, 2020.

A second death warrant was issued by Judge Arora on January 17 after Mukesh's mercy petition was rejected by the President of India.

Mukesh's challenge to the rejection of his mercy plea is pending with the Supreme Court.

Read the Order:

Hiralal Gupta vs Awninder Pratap & ors.pdf
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