In a major respite for Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC) president Kuldeep Bishnoi and former member of Parliament Dharam Pal Malik, the local court dropped charge of attempt to murder against them and other party workers.
Bishnoi, along with 26 other party workers, were booked by the UT police in March 2010, after the rally held by the HJC had turned violent.
UT police had registered a case under various sections, including attempt to murder, rioting and damaging government property, against the HJC workers on March 5, 2010.
During resumed hearing of the arguments on framing of charges against Bishnoi and other HJC leaders, district and sessions judge SK Aggarwal on Wednesday referred the case to judicial magistrate after dropping charges of attempt to murder (307) and voluntarily causing grievous hurt to deter public servant from his duty (333).
Now Bishnoi and his party men face charges of rioting, voluntary causing hurt to deter public servant from his duty and assaulting public servant.
The case will now come up for hearing on February 15.
Police had claimed that HJC workers, led by Bishnoi, had gathered at the Sector-25 ground to protest against the policies of the state government. As per the police, the clash between the party workers and police broke out when police stopped them from jumping a barricade, following which police used batons, tear gas shells and water cannons to disperse the mob. Many HJC workers and cops were injured during the clash.
Defence counsel AS Sukhija, while contesting the sections invoked against the HJC leaders and partymen, said charges under sections 307 and 333 of the Indian Penal Code were not made out as the injuries sustained were not grievous in nature and the protesters had no motive or object to injure the cops.
The court considering the arguments and fact that more demonstrators than the police men were injured, dropped the two charges against the accused.