Varnika Kundu stalking case: Vikas Barala, friend challenge charges framed against them
The review petition also claimed that this was a ‘case of media trial’ wherein the complainant has been ‘favoured at the cost of justice’.punjab Updated: Oct 28, 2017 12:54 IST
Vikas Barala, son of Haryana BJP chief Subhash Barala, and his friend Ashish Kumar who are accused of allegedly stalking and trying to kidnap disc jockey Varnika Kundu, filed a review petition to challenge the charges framed against them, on Friday.
Claiming that the lower court ‘failed to use judicious mind’ in framing charges of stalking, kidnapping and wrongful restraint against them, the petition states that ‘grave injustice’ has been done to them. Their counsel, Rabindra Pandit, pleaded that the proceedings in the lower court should be stayed until a decision on the revision petition is taken.
Defence moved an application in the court of judicial magistrate, first class, seeking call details between Kundu and her father on the night of the incident.
The matter came up for hearing before the court of additional district and sessions judge Poonam R Joshi on Friday. It was argued that the charges were not framed on a sustainable ground and that by doing so, the lower court ‘acted like a post office’. Claiming that the charges were framed based on ‘fabricated evidence’, the defence said no case was made out against the accused.
The defence said the complaint was drafted by VS Kundu, a Haryana cadre IAS officer and father of Varnika Kundu, in consultation with legal luminaries. It claimed that Varnika’s statement recorded under Section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedure before the magistrate did not corroborate completely with the allegations made in the complaint, wherein attempt to kidnap was also cited. “Varnika’s statement was silent on the attempt to kidnap,” the defence said.
‘Unfair media trail’
The review petition also claimed that this was a ‘case of media trial’ wherein the complainant has been ‘favoured at the cost of justice’. The defence counsel argued that Section 365 (kidnapping or abducting with intent secretly and wrongfully to confine person) of the Indian Penal Code gives emphasis to the intent of the person to secretary and wrongly confine someone. “It was lacking in toto in this case,” he said, adding that the lower court framed the charges ‘without application of mind’.
Reference was also made to the refusal of police to share CCTV footage of the police station where the FIR was registered. The defence maintained that a letter requesting this was written to the home secretary, but to no avail. The prosecution will file a detailed reply and the matter will now be taken up on November 7.
Plea seeking call details filed
Meanwhile, the defence also moved another application in the court of judicial magistrate, first class, Barjinder Pal Singh, where the charges against them were framed. In the petition, the defence sought call details between Kundu and her father on the night of the incident. The defence also alleged that they also had conversations with an advocate on the said night, and have sought details of that conversation too. The plea will be taken up for arguments on November 9.
First Published: Oct 28, 2017 12:53 IST