Court begins hearing pleas in Haren Pandya murder caseJuly 11th, 2011 - 8:35 pm ICT by IANS
Gandhinagar, July 11 (IANS) The Gujarat High Court Monday started final hearing on appeals of 12 people who were convicted by a trial court in 2007 for the murder of former BJP leader and minister Haren Pandya.
During the hearing, which will take place on a daily basis, one of the defence lawyers, Nitya Ramakrishan, began her arguments before the bench of Justices D.H. Waghela and J.C. Upadhayaya.
She claimed that the confessional statements of two of the convicts cannot be relied upon and that apart from the confessional statements, there was no corroborative or circumstantial evidence against some of the accused.
She further claimed that the trial court had failed to meet with statutory provisions of law. In support of her argument, she said that the trial court didn’t read out the confessional statements before the accused before sending them to judicial custody.
According to her, the trial court ought to have done so and also should have told them that they should tell the truth. This was obligatory on the part of trial court, she said.
She also claimed that the court had also ignored discrepancies in medical as well as scientific evidence.
The bench has allowed her to produce a summary of her arguments before it upon which she would continue her arguments.
A designated Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) court, in 2007, found 12 people guilty and sentenced nine of them to life imprisonment, two to seven years imprisonment and one to five years jail. The senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader was shot dead near Law Garden area in Ahmedabad on March 26, 2003.
The investigation was first carried out by the crime branch and was then handed over to Central Bureau of Investigation.
A total of 19 people were named as accused in the case out of which 15 were arrested while four remained absconding.
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