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Chandigarh stalking: Political, IAS lobby behind false case, says Barala’s lawyer

Varnika’s father also claimed that he spoke to UT home secretary Anurag Agarwal and deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi after the incident

punjab Updated: Jan 24, 2018 13:48 IST
Aneesha Bedi
Aneesha Bedi
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Chandigarh stalking,IAS lobby,Vikas Barala
Varnika Kundu and her father VS Kundu. (HT File )

A high drama was witnessed in the trial court hearing the Varnika Kundu stalking case when the defence lawyer alleged intervention by political and IAS lobby in filing a false case against Haryana Bharatiya Janata Party chief’s son Vikas Barala and his friend Ashish Kumar.

The accusation was made during the cross-examination of Varnika’s father — VS Kundu, a Haryana-cadre IAS officer — in the court of judicial magistrate first class Barjinder Pal Singh.

Defence counsel Rabindra Pandit had made similar accusations during Varnika’s cross-examination too.

In response to a question regarding the presence of advocate RC Tackoria at the police station when the complaint was filed in the wee hours of August 5 last year, Kundu responded in the affirmative. However, he claimed that he called Tackoria, a relative, only after a “BJP spokesperson” called him at 4am. The magistrate stopped him from completing his sentence and said such things shouldn’t be said as “they could be of help to the accused persons”.

My email hacked: Varnika’s father
  • At a point in the cross-examination, defence lawyer Rabindra Pandit sought Kundu’s email id. When Kundu asked for its relevance, Pandit referred to an email exchanged between Varnika and her father on August 17 — the day Barala’s bail was to be heard in the another court — wherein she had shared details of her conversation with the PCR personnel.
  • Upon this, Kundu alleged his email and Facebook accounts were being hacked by those on the defence counsel’s side.
  • When the prosecution objected to bringing up the private email, Pandit said these details were on record in the judicial file when the bail was heard in August. He said if the transcript was available, it should have been part of the challan.
  • The matter was deferred to February 6 after the magistrate asked for the file to be brought to his court.

Kundu talked to Hooda, Chautala

The mention of big political names — such as former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and leader of opposition Abhay Chautala — by Pandit also heated up the atmosphere in the courtroom. Kundu agreed he received a call from Chautala on August 6 or 7, though he could not recall when Hooda had called him even as he admitted they had a talk.

UT home secy, DC’s names also come up

Varnika’s father also claimed that he spoke to UT home secretary Anurag Agarwal and deputy commissioner Ajit Balaji Joshi after the incident. However, he clarified that he had called Agarwal on August 6, but he didn’t answer his call. Later, when the officer called him back, Kundu said he asked the home secretary to preserve the CCTV footage on the route on which Varnika was allegedly stalked.

Pandit also mentioned the names of other serving or retired IAS officers — Giriraj Agarwal, Urvashi Gulati, Virender Dahiya, Keshani Anand and Sanjeev Kaushik — and asked Kundu if he spoke to them after the incident.

Kundu replied in the positive, adding that he spoke to only some of them after they called him up to enquire about the incident. He clarified that some of them were his batchmates.

Barala’s lawyer suggested that a strong IAS lobby had mounted pressure on cops to file a false case and add sections that were non-bailable. He also mentioned how a special public prosecutor — district attorney — was asked to handle the case in the lower court on Agarwal’s plea, for which there was no provision. The prosecution’s counsel, Manu Kakkar, strongly objected to it.

Earlier, Kundu reiterated most of the points made in the FIR, while recording statement.

First Published: Jan 24, 2018 13:47 IST