The counsel for Dera Sacha Sauda head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh on Wednesday submitted before the Punjab and Haryana high court that when the prosecution had been given the opportunity to produce witnesses, the defence side also had equal rights for the same.
The submissions were made before the bench of justice Daya Chaudhary during the hearing of Ram Rahim's petition challenging the decision of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) special court, Haryana, to curtail the list of witnesses in a rape case.
His counsel told the HC that in March 2014, the trial court (CBI special court) allowed the Sirsa dera head to produce witnesses, but later it did not allow summoning of some of them as the CBI had argued that the long list of witnesses had been produced to delay the trial. He also argued that the defence was able to examine 28 witnesses in nine months, but the CBI took five years to examine 15 witnesses.
Submitting for the CBI, its counsel told the HC that he did not have the requisite documents with him and argued that the case be adjourned.
The court observed that the trial court had powers to curtail the list of witnesses, but the merits of the case were to be examined. Later, the hearing was adjourned till Friday.
The trial court had recently curtailed the defence witnesses' list. A list of 98 witnesses had been produced, of which 28 had been examined. The CBI special court had recently ordered that it would allow just one more defence witness in the case.