The trial in the Kathua case ended on Monday and the judgement will be pronounced at 10 am on June 10, Greater Kashmir reported on Monday. The case is about the murder and murder and alleged rape of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua in Jammu and Kashmir in January 2018.
Detailed final arguments were made by advocates Ankur Sharma, Vikram and Chandan on behalf of accused Parvesh Kumar, an unidentified court official told the newspaper.
The prosecution presented a list of 353 witnesses in the case along with the challan and a supplementary chargesheet but managed to examine only 114 witnesses during the trial, The Indian Express quoted unidentified officials as saying. “There were many witnesses who were for the same evidence or were suspected to be weak witnesses by the prosecution, and accordingly a decision was taken to not examine them,” said a senior official.
Four non-official witnesses out of the 114 reportedly turned hostile during the trial.
The day-to-day in-camera trial began in the first week of June at the district and sessions court in Pathankot city in Punjab after the victim’s family petitioned the Supreme Court for the case to be transferred outside Jammu and Kashmir. Lawyers in Kathua had prevented crime branch officials from filing the chargesheet in the case.
A chargesheet filed by the state police’s Crime Branch on April 9 last year said the girl had been held captive in a “devasthan”, or temple, in the village, drugged, raped repeatedly, strangled to death and then bludgeoned. She was allegedly abducted on January 10 and killed four days later. Her body was found near Kathua on January 17.
The police claimed the crime was planned by Sanji Ram, a retired government employee in Rasana, his nephew, who is said to be juvenile, and special police officer Deepak Khajuria. Ram’s son Vishal Jangotra was allegedly called home from Meerut in Uttar Pradesh the day after the child was kidnapped. According to the chargesheet, Khajuria, Jangotra and the juvenile repeatedly raped the girl before killing her. Two investigating officers – head constable Tilak Raj and sub-inspector Anand Dutta – were accused of destroying crucial evidence, and were also arrested.
The case led to major outrage across the country, but a number of groups supported the accused.