Gurgaon: Nine acquitted in 2016 murder case as witnesses turn hostile – The Indian Express

A district court in Gurgaon has acquitted all nine people accused in a 2016 murder case after the prosecution witnesses denied identifying the persons charged with the crime.
In its order, the court of Additional Sessions Judge Jasbir Singh said the prosecution had failed to prove its case against the accused beyond the shadow of reasonable doubt.
The court said that apart from oral evidence, the prosecution relied upon disclosure statements of the accused to prove their involvement in the crime. “No new fact was discovered in pursuance of the disclosure statements of accused persons… the facts of the present case do not show that the police made any effort to join the independent witness at the time of recording the alleged disclosure statements of the accused persons,” the court said.
The court added, “Once the disclosure statements are ignored… there remains no other evidence available on the file, which connects the accused persons with the commission of subject offence.”
The case pertains to an incident on July 18, 2016 when a fight broke out in Gurgaon’s Kadarpur village. The victim, Ashok alias Sukka, and his brothers Jitender and Jaibir were travelling in a vehicle and stopped on seeing a fight between two groups. Ashok was shot multiple times and succumbed to injuries. Subsequently, an FIR was registered at Badshahpur police station.
The police arrested ten suspects – Rahul, Dharmender, Arun, Rohit, Raj Kumar, Dharambir, Paramveer, Ashok, Sukhbir and Parveen. Dharmender died during the course of the trial. The accused were charged under sections 147 (rioting), 149 (member of unlawful assembly in prosecution of common object), 302 (murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 506 (criminal intimidation), 216 (harbouring offender), 307 (attempt to murder) of the Indian Penal Code and section 25 of the Arms Act.
During the trial, the complainant Jitender, who is the brother of the victim, deposed that he knew the accused persons as his co-villagers but they had nothing to do with the death of his brother, that he had not witnessed any such occurrence and that the accused had not caused any injury to his brother. Five other witnesses, including another brother of the victim, turned hostile and did not identify the accused persons.
The court said official witnesses and their evidence were of formal and corroborative nature and were not sufficient to connect the accused with the charges levelled.
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