Kathua case: Not one of the 17 witnesses turn up

The Crime Branch on Friday failed to produce any of the seventeen witnesses who were summoned by the Pathankot district and session court in the brutal rape and murder of an eight year old nomadic girl in Rasana village of Kathua district in January.
Kathua case: Not one of the 17 witnesses turn up
File Photo

The Crime Branch on Friday failed to produce any of the seventeen witnesses who were summoned by the Pathankot district and session court in the brutal rape and murder of an eight year old nomadic girl in Rasana village of Kathua district in January.

The court took serious note of absence of witnesses and directed the SSP Crime Branch "to appear in person" in the court on Monday, one of the defence lawyers told Greater Kashmir.

Crime Branch has  identified 226 witnesses in its 500 page charge sheet.

The charges against seven out of the eight accused in the case were framed by the court on Thursday following which 17 witnesses were summoned for hearing and cross examination.

The proceedings today lasted for just around an hour "as none of the witnesses appeared," a defence lawyer said.

The court deferred the summoning of the other witnesses until after the production of the 17 witnesses. 

"There is no way that the witnesses can get away by not appearing in the court. The CB has to produce all the witnesses of the case as and when they are summoned by the court", sources said.

The plea of the defence that one of the accused Parvesh Kumar alias Mannu is a juvenile will also be taken up by the court on Monday.  The application to the effect was moved by the defence on Thursday.

The case of another accused Shubham being juvenile or not is also pending before the court.

The brutal rape and murder of the eight year old nomadic girl evoked global condemnation.

On the plea of victim's family, the apex court shifted the case from Kathua to Pathankot, which is around 30 kms away from Kathua.

The Supreme Court also ordered day to day hearing of the case for speedy justice to the victim. The proceedings are going on in-camera which places them out of bounds for the media.

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