Bharatiya Janata Party councillor Madhav Prasad, who was accused of murdering a party worker just two days before the 2012 Municipal Corporation of Delhi’s polls, has been acquitted by a local court which found the complaint against him to be false.
Besides Prasad, a councillor from Sangam Park, co-accused Anil Yadav and Pinku were also acquitted of the charge of murdering Jai Prakash.
Additional Sessions Judge Pawan Jain acquitted them after prosecution witness Virender Yadav, who claimed to be the eye-witness in the case and on whose complaint the case had been registered, turned hostile in court.
While setting the trio free, the court directed that a complaint be made before the appropriate court against Virender for giving false evidence, as he had wrongly stated to the police that he saw Prasad and Anil holding Prakash while Pinku stabbed him twice in the chest.
"It can safely be culled out that Virender Yadav had either made a false complaint against the accused with some ulterior motive or he turned hostile deliberately with some ulterior motive. Both these situations are not good for the health of the system and for the administration of the criminal justice," the ASJ said.
He noted, "Virender Yadav had not only made a written complaint against the accused but he was also pursuing the same vigorously by engaging a battery of advocates."
“Needless to say that witnesses play a significant role in the administration of criminal justice. If courts permit the witnesses to behave in such a manner, it will become difficult to impart justice. If witnesses like Virender are not checked, a wrong message would disseminate among the public at large that they can make a somersault during the trial at any time as per their whims and fancies without facing any consequences. Thus, I am of the view that he deserves to face the consequences of his wrongful acts," the court said.
The court directed that a complaint be made against Virender for offence punishable under Section 193 to 195 of the Indian Penal Code (for giving false evidence).
Police had in April last year registered a case of murder against Prasad, Pinku and Anil on the basis of a complaint made by Virender.
He had in a written complaint told the police that on April 10, Prasad had organised a meeting at the Azadpur railway station to address voters prior to the MCD polls on April 15. He had alleged that in the meeting, some people claimed that Prasad had not done any work in his previous tenure, leading to a quarrel between them and his supporters.
Virender also told the police that during the quarrel, he saw accused Prasad and Anil catch hold of Jai Prakash while Pinku stabbed him twice in the chest with a knife.
During his deposition in the court, he said he had made only those facts in the complaint which some people had asked him to tell the police.
Other star witnesses also did not support the prosecution's case. The court also held that there was no circumstantial evidence to connect the accused to the crime.