A Punjab and Haryana high court (HC) bench on Thursday admitted the appeals filed by the Haryana government and Buti Ram, father of deceased Jyoti, against the acquittal of Himachal Pradesh Congress member of legislative assembly (MLA) Ram Kumar Chaudhary and 11 others in connection with the girls' murder case.
Jyoti, a dalit girl, was found dead on November 22, 2012, in Sector 21, Panchkula. Chaudhary, who was the main accused, had faced trial in the case and was acquitted on September 11 last year. Both the state government and Buti Ram had filed an appeal earlier this year against the order.
The division bench of justice Hemant Gupta and Lisa Gill, after admitting the case for hearing, have posted the matter for further hearing for January next year.
The state, in its appeal, has argued that there was sufficient evidence against Chaudhary and others in the case. The police chargesheet had stated that she was killed as she wanted to get married with Chaudhary. However, the trial court ruled that she was murdered for possessing her abortion documents.
The others acquitted in the case are Chaudhary's brother Harbhajan Chaudhary, Dharampal, Paramjit Singh, Pankaj Bhandari and Satish, all residents of Solan in Himachal Pradesh, and Ashish Kumar, a resident of Hoshiarpur. Others included Tilak Raj from Kangra (HP), Nirmal Singh, Kamaljit Singh and Baljit Singh, all residents of Panchkula. They have faced trial on the charges of harbouring the accused and providing SIM cards etc.