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HC stalls cross-examination of approver in narcotics case

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, January 19, 2013
First Published: 02:01 IST(19/1/2013) | Last Updated: 02:02 IST(19/1/2013)

Acting on a petition filed by IPS officer Saji Mohan, who is facing trial for allegedly possessing 37 kilograms of heroin, the Bombay high court last week halted the cross-examination of accused-turned-approver Vicky Oberoi in the case.

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Justice Abhay Thipsay has posted the 44-year-old IPS officer's plea for further hearing on January 28 and deferred Oberoi's further cross-examination till then. Mohan approached HC after a special NDPS (Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances) Act court rejected his plea seeking copy of Oberoi's statement recorded by Maharashtra Anti Terrorists Squad (ATS).

"The applicant/accused is entitled to a fair trial and therefore prosecution agency should provide copies of all relevant papers to him," states his plea filed before the HC, adding that section 162 of the Criminal Procedure Code permits use of police statements of prosecution witnesses for the purpose of cross-examining the concerned witness. "If the witness Vicky has given a different story or has improved his story in such a statement, the said statement assumes great importance in the context of the trial and non-supply thereof will cause great prejudice to the applicant."


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