Victim's father, Butti Ram, was on Monday eighth witness to turn hostile in the Jyoti murder case, which might help Doon legislator and prime accused Ram Kumar Chaudhary.
On November 22, 2012, Jyoti, a Dalit girl from Bhunga village in Hoshiarpur district, was found dead on a road in Sector 21 here. On the first day of the trial on August 22, four witnesses turned hostile.
Baddi's Praveen, brother of accused Gurmeet Singh, who had earlier told the police that he had bought him the SIM card placed close to the crime scene, submitted in the court, later, that the card was in the company's name and his workers used it.
Similarly, Baddi residents Yashpal, Surjeet and Manoj Kumar, all related to the other accused, also backtracked from the statements to the police about the SIM cards tracked to the other accused, and said the numbers were with them on the day of the crime.
On November 12, Amarjit Singh, who owns the truck that ran Jyoti over, submitted in court that the vehicle had not left Baddi that day. He is brother of Tilak Raj, who's alleged to be the killer driver.
Another witness, Lakhwinder Singh, told the court he had never sold a Maruti Alto car to accused Paramjit, who had allegedly driven it that night from Baddi to Panchkula.
Dr Aditi Gupta from Jindal Nursing Home, who had aborted Jyoti's child, said she could not recognise Chaudhary as the man who came with her for the job in August 2012. Her testimony was important to proving the motive.
The doctor said that the man with Jyoti had signed as Ram Kumar and, later, told her it was his nickname, while his real name was Ramesh Kumar Sharma. So, she had overwritten Ramesh Kumar Sharma on the form, she submitted in the court. The prosecution argued that it was Chaudhary who had overwritten the entry.
Of all the witnesses who turned hostile, the most curious case is of Butti Ram, Jyoti's father. It was he who had approached the high court for its permission to put the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on the case and made direct charges against Ram Kumar Chaudhary; yet on Monday, he said he did not know the Doon legislator. For giving false evidence, he might face action under Section 195 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).