District attorney (DA) APS Parmar and public prosecutor Manoj Vashisht have submitted their opinion to the office of deputy commissioner of police (DCP) in the Jyoti murder case where they commented that additional district and sessions judge Roopam Singh has erred in acquitting Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary and 11 others.
Jyoti, a resident of a village in Hoshiarpur district in Punjab, was found dead on November 22, 2012, at Sector 21, Panchkula. Chaudhary, who was the main accused, faced trial in the case and was acquitted on September 11. Parmar's opinion is significant in filing an appeal in the case.
DCP Rahul Sharma will also give his recommendation on whether an appeal should be filed. However, the final decision rests with district magistrate SS Phulia who will consider the comments of the DA as well as the DCP.
"We will file an appeal in the case. We are looking at the grounds right now," said Sharma, who is also heading a special investigation team formed to look into the judgment.
Parmar and Vashisht opined that the trial court has erred in not appreciating the fact that Chaudhary and Jyoti was present at Jindal nursing home in Sector 20, Chandigarh, on August 7, 2012, as per the call details.
It was also pointed out that the court overlooked the conspiracy between Chaudhary, and his aides Dharampal, Gurmeet and Paramjeet and also the presence of truck bearing registration number HP12A 7738 in Panchkula on the fateful day of incident. "There was no other occasion with accused Tilak Raj (the driver who allegedly drove truck to kill Jyoti) who was found present in Panchkula with the above-mentioned truck other than to crush Jyoti under the truck. The fact was further corroborated from the deposition of Prikshit Sharma, general manager, Surajpur-Chandimandir toll plaza."
Regarding testimonies of police officers, Parmar said, "The learned trial court erred in giving undue weightage to the minor discrepancies that occurred in the testimonies of official witnesses (police witnesses). This is a settled proposition of law that minor discrepancies are bound to happen due to lapse of time and these should not be taken into consideration." It was also pointed out that the testimony of police officials cannot be discarded as a whole.
It was further pointed out that deposition of assistant sub-inspector Mange Ram was overlooked who proved the presence of Paramjeet and Gurmeet, alleged to be involved in the crime, at Amartex Chowk on the fateful day of incident and he also identified them in the court.
Regarding the statements of victim's sister Ishu Rani and father Butti Ram, Parmar and Vashisht said Ishu specifically deposed in the court that Jyoti had told her that she was having an intimate relationship with Chaudhary, who denied to marry her as she was a Scheduled Caste, but it was not being given due weightage. It was added that both were receiving constant threats from the relatives of Chaudhary.
The motive behind the murder was not appreciated that Jyoti was killed as she was demanding more time and money from Chaudhary. It was pointed out that though Chaudhary denied having any acquaintance with Jyoti, the lie was nailed in his bail application in high court where he said he might have attended Ishu Rani's wedding.
"… the learned trial court erred in reaching the conclusion that none of the investigating officer was capable of deposing the fact that Jyoti was alive or dead when she was tried to be crushed by the truck. Prosecution was able to prove the fact that she was alive/unconscious when she was tried to be crushed by the truck as deposed by prosecution witness Dr Mamta Attri who categorically opined that all injuries on Jyoti were ante-mortem in nature."
Points not given due weightage
Jyoti and Doon MLA's presence at Jindal nursing home in Chandigarh on August 7, 2012, as per call details. Also, the abortion form bore his signature, which was proved by handwriting expert.
Presence of truck bearing registration number HP12A 7738 in Panchkula on the day of incident.
Deposition of ASI Mange Ram who proved the presence of Paramjeet and Gurmeet at Amartex Chowk on the day of incident. He had also identified the duo in court.
Victim's sister Ishu Rani deposed in court that Jyoti had told her that she was having an intimate relationship with Chaudhary, who denied marrying her as she was a Scheduled Caste.
Ignoring recovery of ashes of truck tyres, which were proved to be of a heavy vehicle in lab tests, and the fact that ashes were recovered on the disclosure statement of Paramjeet.
Though Chaudhary denied having acquaintance with Jyoti, the lie was nailed in his bail application in high court where he said he might have attended Ishu Rani's wedding.
Prosecution proved that Jyoti was alive/unconscious when she was tried to be crushed by the truck.
Call details of official number of Chaudhary and Jyoti had same tower location of Airport chowk, Hallomajra, around 9.15 pm on November 21, 2012.