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Home > News > PTI

Irfan murder: Prosecution will not challenge acquittal

Sanjeev Kumar in New Delhi | April 03, 2006 22:03 IST

As a controversy rages over the acquittal of all five accused in the murder case ofcartoonist Irfan Hussain, the prosecuting agency has concluded that it would be 'futile' to appeal against the trial court verdict.

Highlighting the 'missing links' and the incidents of key witnesses turning hostile in the case, Y P S Ahaluwalia,the chief public prosecutor in the Karkardooma Court, in his report to Y S Yadav, director, Delhi State Prosecution Branch , has listed several grounds for not preferring to appeal in the Delhi High Court.

The 'monthly acquittal report' sent by the CPP to the director, DSPB, said since the case was entirely based on'circumstantial evidence', it would not stand the test before the High Court as neither the chain of events was complete nor the key witnesses supported the case.

The report specifically stated that since the chain of events was broken with key witness Banwari Lal turning hostile, it would be difficult to sustain the case. Prosecution had contended that Lal had witnessed the recovery of Irfan's belongings -his diary, pen and mobile charger - from the house of Sanjay, one of the accused. Later, however,he had resiled from his statement, leading to the fall of case.

Another witness, Shyam Lal, to whom the auto-thieves had sold the stereo of Irfan's car on their way to Jammu and Kashmir, had turned hostile. The witness had not only failed to identify the accused but also refuted that he ever bought the stereo.

Besides, the report said the contradictory statements of two sub-inspectors of the police of both Delhiand Jammu and Kashmir on the recovery of Irfan's Maruti car, would come in its waywhile challenging the verdict.

While acquitting the accused, Additional Sessions Judge Talwant Singh had held the prosecution responsibile for not being able to establish both the offence of kidnapping and subsequent murder. Also, its failure tolink the recovery of the car and some personal belongings of the victim with the accused, who were alleged members of an auto-snatcher gang.

Those acquitted were Mustafa Ansari, Sanjay, Heera Singh, Mohammed Jasim, hailing from Delhi, and Mohammed Shahid, a resident of Bihar.

Irfan Hussain was working with weekly newsmagazine, Outlook. As per the prosecution, the five accused, along with a minor who is facing trial in the Juvenile Justice Board, were the members of a gang, which was involved in snatching of cars on the national highway in east Delhi.

The decomposed body of Hussain was found in a bush near Mayur Vihar in east Delhi, alongside the national highway.

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