NEW DELHI: The Delhi High Court has dismissed a plea by the real estate baron Sushil Ansal, who is facing prosecution in a case of tampering with evidence in the main Uphaar cinema fire tragedy matter, seeking to cross examine the investigating officer following change of counsel representing him.
The court said a mere change of counsel would not suffice to recall the witness to put certain suggestions in the manner the new advocate desires.
Ansal’s plea is devoid of merits, it said.
“The petitioner earlier had engaged counsel of his choice. He made a decision not to cross-examine, not one but 18 witnesses, probably, because the petitioner is facing charges of conspiracy only. Hence the decision to not to cross-examine witnesses cannot be said to be an inadvertent act but may be a part of his strategy,” Justice Yogesh Khanna said.
Since a considerable delay has taken place, the plight of victims cannot be ignored, the court said. The evidence tampering the case is at the stage of final arguments before the trial court.
The court said it needs to see the intention to file such an application under section 311 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC) at a ‘deeply belated stage’.
Ansal’s counsel submitted before the high court that the trial court has disposed of his plea under section 311 of the CrPC and said he was seeking one more opportunity to cross examine the investigating officer.
The plea was opposed by Delhi Police which said the trial is at its final stage as the prosecution and defence evidence has already been closed.
Deeply belated stage, says court
The court said that since a considerable delay has taken place, the plight of victims cannot be ignored.
The evidence tampering the case is at the stage of final arguments before the trial court. It said that it needed to see the intention to file such an application under section 311 of CrPC.