Pathankot, July 4: Pathankot District and Sessions Judge Tejwinder Singh ordered the prosecution to file affidavits of behalf of the officials, accused of torturing Kathua rape and murder accused Parvesh Kumar.
The court had ordered a bone ossification test (age determination test) to be conducted on Parvesh at the Jammu Government Medical College and Hospital.
Defence lawyer Anil Kumar Sawhney alleged that when Parvesh was being taken to the hospital for the test on Monday, J&K crime branch SSP Ramesh Kumar Jalla and Kathua jail superintendent asked him to turn a government approver.
Sawhney also claimed that Parvesh was allegedly slapped and tortured to give misleading statements in the court, which he said could have strengthened the prosecution’s case.
The defence counsel claimed that he had given a six-page application to the judge on Monday, detailing the role of several J&K crime branch officials who “subjected Parvesh to torture”.
He added that the bone ossification test, which required just a day, was prolonged to three days at the insistence of the crime branch.
Two Senior Special Prosecutors (SPPs) — Santok Singh Basra and JK Chopra — denied the allegations, but the judge was not satisfied with their contentions.
The judge asked all officials, against whom allegations of torture have been levelled by Parvesh, to file separate affidavits by July 9.
Meanwhile, the judge reserved his order on the bone ossification report of Parvesh prepared by the Jammu hospital. He will pronounce the order on Wednesday.
Sawhney contended that the report had no value as according to the Supreme Court guidelines, the age of a juvenile should be decided on the basis of his or her matriculation certificate.
The Jammu hospital has reckoned Parvesh’s age to be nearly 20 years.
“The matriculation certificate proves that Parvesh is a juvenile. There are clear-cut directions from the Supreme Court that apart from considering the Matric certificate nothing else should be considered in order to decide whether an accused is a juvenile or not. Medical evidence to determine the age of a person is never conclusive,” said a defence lawyer.
Source Tribune India