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Delhi HC directs to expedite trial in journalist murder case


IANS New Delhi
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the trial court to expedite the trial in the 2008 TV journalist Soumya Vishwanathan murder case.
Justice Mukta Gupta directed the court while disposing of an accused's plea seeking speedy disposal of trial in the murder case.
The court was hearing the plea of one of the accused Baljeet Singh Malik through advocate Amit Kumar.
Malik has sought the court's direction to the trial court to expedite and conclude the trial of the present case in a fixed time frame on a day-to-day basis.
The court directed the trial court hearing the matter to conclude the proceedings as early as possible and preferably on day-to-day basis or at least to conduct hearing on two days a week.
The court also directed to appoint a senior police officer to monitor the appearance of prosecution witnesses on the date fixed for hearing.
Delhi government standing counsel Rahul Mehra told the court that Delhi Police has appointed a senior officer to monitor the issue.
The court noted that apparently the trial has been delayed due to non-appearance of witnesses on the date fixed for hearing.
Till February, the trial court concluded recording of the statement of nearly 42 witnesses in the case. The prosecution has cited nearly hundreds of witnesses in their charge sheet and supplementary charge sheet.
Malik has also sought compensation of Rs 1 crore on account of the unreasonable and inordinate delay in investigation and trial of the present case.
But the court rejected his plea seeking compensation.
Malik, in his plea, told the court that he was a 20-year-old in 2008 when the case was registered. He was arrested on March 28, 2009, and since then he has been languishing in jails and facing trial as an undertrial prisoner.
Delhi Police said Vishwanathan was shot dead on September 30, 2008, when she was returning home in her car from office in the wee hours.
It has been more than nine-and-a-half years since the petitioner (Malik) was arrested but the respondent has not been able to conclude the trial of the present case so far, the plea said.
The trial is pending before the sessions court in Saket. The next date of hearing is March 8.

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First Published: Feb 27 2019 | 2:22 PM IST

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