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Jessica case: 'Police planted car at crime scene'

Source: PTI
November 21, 2006 22:38 IST
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Counsel for prime accused Manu Sharma in the Jessica Lal murder case on Tuesday contended before the Delhi High Court that police had 'planted' the Tata Safari car at Qutub Colonnade on the fateful night to 'implicate' his client.

Prosecution claims that Sharma along with three of his friends had gone to attend the party in his Tata Safari car on April 29-30, 1999. Soon after the incident, they all left the place, leaving the car over there but after some time co-accused Vikas Yadav came there and took it away from the spot.

Arguing on the use of the car in the crime, Sharma's counsel R K Naseem told a Bench comprising Justices R S Sodhi and P K Bhasin that police had picked up the car from Karnal, Haryana, and planted it as a piece of evidence in the case.

"There is no evidence to establish that the car was used by the accused in the crime," the lawyer argued.

"To corroborate its stand, the police had planted its own people as witnesses who gave statements of having seen the car parked and later taken away by Vikas," he added.

Referring to the testimony of home guard Shravan Kumar, who claimed that he had given a lathi blow on the glass pane of the car when it was taken away by the accused after the incident, Naseem said he was a planted witness.

"No witness had seen that the car was driven by my client on the fateful night," Naseem said and argued that the car was alloted to Harbinder Chopra, Executive Director of Piccadilly, and the car was registered in the company's name and not Sharma's.

Naseem alleged that after picking the car from Chopra's house police had deliberately left it at Noida. Later they fabricated broken glass pieces and cartridges inside the car and made them as pieces of evidence to establish Sharma's involvement in the crime, he said.

When the court asked him why the police targeted Sharma's car and not any other car, Naseem replied that the onus was not on the accused to prove why he was booked.

"May be someone who knows his client's family wants his client and his family to suffer," he said.

"Even the testimony of the investigating officer Surender Sharma has been corroborated by the fact of police taking away the car from Karnal," Naseem claimed.

He said a prosecution witness Jitender Raj, in his testimony, had said he did not see any car parked or home guard supervising the car's movements at the instance of police after the incident.

"Most prosecution witnesses improved their version in the trial court over their version before the police with regard to the use of car," the counsel told the Bench.

"The trial court has given some findings against the prosecution regarding the use of the car in the place of occurence," Naseem said, suggesting that Bench draw an inference that the car was brought into the picture by to implicate Sharma.

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