2009 Shopian rape and murder case

2009 Shopian rape and murder case
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HC partly allows petition seeking quashing of CBI challan

Srinagar: The J&K High Court Tuesday party allowed petition seeking quashing of Central Bureau Investigation (CBI) challan in the 2009 Shopian twin rape and murder case.
Justice Sanjeev Kumar ordered that the challan against the petitioners, insofar as it pertains to the commission of offences under Section 193, 194 and 167 RPC read with Section 120-B RPC, is quashed. However, the challan would proceed as against the petitioners for offence under Section 195-A RPC.
“It is, however, made clear that the petitioners would be at liberty to raise all contentions and arguments available to them at the time of framing of the charge and nothing said hereinabove would be taken as an expression of opinion on the merits of the case, insofar as, the charge-sheet against the petitioners for commission of offences under Section 195-A RPC is concerned,” Justice Kumar said.
Justice Kumar said the court had carefully examined the evidence, particularly the one collected by the respondents to prove the involvement of the petitioners in fabricating/creating false evidence by pressurizing, inducing and threatening the eye witnesses to make false depositions implicating the police/security personnel in the commission of offences of rape and murder of the deceased ladies and from the perusal of statements of two star witnesses, namely, Ghulam Mohiuddin Lone and Abdul Rashid Pampori, got recorded by the CBI before the Judicial Magistrate under Section 164-A Cr.PC,.
The court held that there is sufficient evidence against the petitioners that they along with others threatened and induced Ghulam Mohiuddin Lone and Abdul Rashid Pampori to give false evidence, first before the Jan Commission and then before the CJM Shopian when their statements under Section 164-A Cr.PC were got recorded by the police station, Shopian to implicate the personnel of police/security so as to procure their conviction of capital offence. The ingredients of Section 195-A RPC are, therefore, met.
The court remarked that going by with the evidence collected during the investigation by the CBI which has culminated into presentation of challan, the false evidence which was alleged to have been created by the petitioners intentionally is the statements made by Ghulam Mohiuddin Lone and Abdul Rashid Pampori before the Jan Commission, and the CJM Shopian under Section 164-A Cr.PC. Admittedly, these statements were made during the course of investigation and, therefore, cannot be said to be a false evidence given in any stage of judicial proceeding.
Justice Kumar further observed that insofar as Section 167 RPC is concerned, it pertains to a public servant framing an incorrect document intended to cause injury and, therefore, would not be attracted against the petitioners. The petitioners are neither the public servants nor were they, in any manner, instrumental in framing any incorrect document. The aforesaid offence appears to have been pressed into service against the accused doctors who had allegedly prepared false post-mortem reports confirming the commission of offences of rape and murder. The petitioners, however, appear to have been dragged into the aforesaid charge by aid of Section 120-B RPC. The only question now remains to be determined is as to whether there was a criminal conspiracy hatched by the petitioners alongwith others for the commission of offences alleged against them.
The court remarked that from a perusal and careful scrutiny of the evidence collected by the investigating agency, it is abundantly clear that there had been no meeting of minds or prior concert between the accused doctors who conducted the post-mortem on the deceased ladies and the petitioners who allegedly made Ghulam Mohiuddin Lone and Abdul Rashid Pampori to make false statements before the Jan Commission and the learned CJM Shopian. The investigation, however, reveals that petitioners came into action only after the post-mortem was conducted on the deceased ladies confirming the commission of offences of rape and murder.
“Court finds sufficient evidence available in the challan to prima facie indicate the involvement of the petitioner’s along with others for commission of offences under Section 195-A RPC. With these observations the court partly allows the petition and the challan against the petitioners, insofar as it pertains to the commission of offences under Section 193, 194 and 167 RPC read with Section 120-B RPC, is quashed. However, the challan would proceed as against the petitioners for offence under Section 195-A RPC.”

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