CBI allowed to summon more witnesses in 2G case

A special court on Wednesday allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to call five more prosecution witnesses and produce additional documents in the 2G case in which former telecom minister A Raja, DMK leader Kanimozi and others are accused.

Special CBI Judge (2G cases) O P Saini, however, suggested the investigation agency that it should stop bringing such plea before it while reminding the prosecution that “frequent and fragmentary” filing of documents do cause “anxiety and uncertainty” in a trial, if not prejudice to the accused. 

The suggestion came from the court as the CBI had pleaded the court for allowing examination of more witnesses and documents at a time when the court had already closed the recording of evidence and posted the matter for final argument.

In this case, prosecution has been allowed to file documents fourteen times, though the defence has also not lagged behind as it has competed with the prosecution and has been allowed to file the documents running into about eight full size steel boxes, the court noted. 

“But prosecution should remember that Indian legal system does not cleave to be theory of hound-the-accused-at-all-cost-by-all-means-fair-or-foul. An accused is also entitled to certain rights and to a fair trial.  He is not a quarry to be pursued, caught and killed.  He is deemed to be innocent until proved guilty and is entitled to a fair trial,” it added. 

The case has been under investigation since August 21, 2009 and since then the prosecution has been collecting material.  This is sufficient time for any investigation to complete,” the court noted. 

As a matter of course, entire documents with list of witnesses should be filed with the chargesheet.  But an occasion may arise where this may not be possible and documents may be filed subsequently also necessitating the summoning of additional witnesses. But this cannot become a rule, it underlined. 

“The quest for truth cannot become a lifelong activity, and if it is so, no criminal trial would ever come to an end.  Though, the prosecution has been successful in making out a case that the documents sought to be placed on record are essential for the just decision of the case but such practice cannot go on endlessly,” the court noted.

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