Hostile witness gets court notice in Shivani murder case

March 20th, 2008 - 9:50 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) Frowning on witnesses who retract their testimony, a court here Thursday issued notice to Suresh Kukreja, close friend of convicted police officer R.K. Sharma, for backtracking on his statement in the Shivani Bhatnagar murder case. Additional Sessions Judge Rajendra Kumar Shastri issued notice to Kukreja under section 181 (false statement under oath) and 193 (punishment for false evidence) of Indian Penal Code for which maximum punishment can be up to seven years.

The prosecution had brought Kukreja to court in September 2003 after he said before a magistrate that he had given his mobile phone to Sharma in January 1999.

But when told to depose before the session’s court, Kukreja backtracked and said his earlier statement was under police pressure.

“If he was under some pressure, then why didn’t he file any complaint to the higher officer,” Judge Shastri ruled in his 115-page judgement.

Terming it merely a ruse, judge ruled that if a witness has deposed before the magistrate under oath then it could be presumed to have testified voluntarily.

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