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Monica plea for separate hearing

india Updated: Nov 16, 2006 15:23 IST

THE LOCAL Lawyer of former Bollywood starlet and companion of underworld don Abu Salem, Monica Bedi on Wednesday moved an application in the court of judicial magistrate Dinesh Kumar Dangi urging the court for a separate trial of his client.

Counsel for Monica, P C Bedi pleaded for a separate trial because other accused in the fake passport case have been charged under some additional sections of IPC as well in addition to those under which Monica is being tried.   

Contending that defence of his client would be seriously prejudiced if she is tried with other accused in the case, including Abu Salem, Shiraj, Kabir and Rubina, Monica’s lawyer argued that charges have not been framed against his client under section 419, 467 and 120-B of the Indian Penal Code while all the other accused in the case are being tried under these sections as well in addition to those under which Monica is facing trial.

He argued that in such circumstances, if she is tried jointly with other accused in the case, it would cause serious prejudice to Monica’s defence as the prosecution would definitely lead evidence for proving the charge under section 419, 467 and 120-B of the IPC against all the accused.

Monica or her counsel would not be in a position to raise objection about recording of evidence on those charges as they would be relevant for other accused while it would not be relevant for his client, he said.

He prayed the court to order a separate trial for his client Monica in the larger ‘interest of justice’.  Meanwhile, the court recorded statements of two witnesses in the case- advocate Khalilullah, who had identified Monica’s alleged affidavit in his capacity as notary and head constable Ram Mani, who had made the panchnama of her alleged affidavit. Monica was present in the court during their deposition.

The prosecution, in response to court’s notice on Tuesday over absence from court at a time when prosecution witness in the case Khalilullah presented himself for deposition, said that the prosecution officer could not attend the court proceedings on Tuesday as he was busy in some other court. The case is now fixed for Thursday for arguments in the case.