National Herald: Court asks Swamy to lay foundation of the case but dismisses S. 294 application

National Herald: Court asks Swamy to lay foundation of the case but dismisses S. 294 application

Ashutosh Gambhir

Delhi’s Patiala House Court today, dismissed Subramanian Swamy’s application under Section 294, where he had sought for admissibility of certain documents.  According to Swamy, these documents are the same documents that had been filed by one of the accused before the Supreme Court in a Special Leave Petition. The Court has now, ordered Swamy to be examined first, in order to ‘lay the foundation of the case’.

Facts & Arguments

Dr Swamy had filed a private complaint against Smt Sonia Gandhi, Congress President Rahul Gandhi, Moti Lal Vora, Oscar Fernandes, Suman Dubey, Sam Pitroda and Young Indian for offences under Sections 403, 406, 420 and 120 B of the IPC. Swamy in his complaint alleged misappropriation of property, criminal breach of trust, cheating and criminal conspiracy.

The case had reached the stage of pre-charge evidence. However, Swamy moved certain applications regarding documentary evidence which was opposed by the Gandhis and others.

Rahul and Sonia Gandhi in their defence said, that the application under Section 294 was moved with the sole object of delaying the trial and was drafted in a haphazard manner making it difficult to decipher as to which document was being put for admission or denial.

Here are the grounds mentioned by the Congress President Rahul Gandhi and other accused where they challenge Swamy’s application.

National Herald: Court asks Swamy to lay foundation of the case but dismisses S. 294 application

The Additional Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (ACMM) Samar Vishal observed that once the accused are summoned on the basis of certain evidence, then the prosecution will definitely have to proceed on the basis of evidence on which the prosecution has been launched. Although there is liberty to introduce new evidence that may be discovered later, this can only be done by restoring to the provisions of Section 91 or 311 of the CrPC.

Agreeing with the contention of the accused that the documents were neither original nor certified copies, ACMM Vishal stated that,

The purpose of Section 294 is to truncate the trial but this does not mean that the rules of evidence can be compromised with….

Therefore the application under Section 294 for directing the accused to admit or deny the documents cannot be allowed.” 

It was observed that the trial has already been delayed as the first date for leading prosecution evidence was on February 20, 2016.

The ACMM directed that in order to streamline the trial, Swamy shall first examine himself as the witness for the prosecution and lay the foundation of the case.

It is also ordered that the documents that Swamy wants to summon or proved shall be summoned by witnesses who are legally competent to prove those documents.

The Judge ruled:

“…It is made clear that there will be no deviation from this procedure so that this trial can be brought to its conclusion expeditiously in an effective manner”

On the next date of hearing, Subramanian Swamy will be examined.

Read Order in Dr. Subramanian Swamy vs Smt. Sonia Gandhi and others:

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