Protection of witness is imperative: Delhi court

Protection of witness is imperative: Delhi court

 Ruing that witnesses were  being won over in criminal cases, a Delhi court has said courts should come forward to protect them or else criminals will have a field day.

“A witness is the backbone of criminal justice system and if the backbone is broken, the whole criminal justice system will crumble,” Additional Sessions Judge Gurdeep Singh said.

“If the courts do not come forward to rescue the witnesses and use power to give sentence to the fullest, the witness will not have any sense of security and the criminal will have a field day,” he said.

The judge made the observation while sentencing 27-year-old Kuldeep to 10-year jail and imposing a fine of Rs 50,000 for attempting to murder Sachin Bhardwaj, who was a witness against him in a robbery case.

The accused had tried to pressurise Bhardwaj not to depose against him and finally won him over.

The prosecution case was that Kuldeep and his accomplice, all residents of northwest Delhi, beat up Sachin, his brother Sunil and his friends and looted them on September 3, 2009.

A case of robbery was registered against them, the prosecution said. On September 6, 2009, Sachin was returning from work when Kuldeep intercepted him in a car and asked him not to depose against him in the robbery case.

When Sachin did not accede to his request, Kuldeep whipped out a revolver and shot at Sachin, who was hit in his leg, the prosecution said. Sachin’s brother Sunil rushed him to hospital and informed police.

Police registered a case of attempt to murder under the IPC and also charged him under the Arms Act.

When Sachin was discharged from the hospital, he turned hostile in the court. The judge, in his order, noted that he and Kuldeep had reached a compromise  for “obvious reasons of fear”.

The judge relied upon circumstantial evidence and the deposition of Sunil to hold Kuldeep guilty.

The court directed police to provide protection to Sunil, after his counsel Birender Sangwan submitted that he is being threatened by Kuldeep’s relatives.

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