Katara Murder Case: HC Refuses to Give Credence to Sting Operation
The Delhi High Court Wednesday refused to give credence to a sting operation "discrediting" the testimony of key witness Ajay Katara and instead relied on his statements given in court while upholding the conviction of controversial UP politician D P Yadav's son and two others.
A bench of justices Gita Mittal and J R Midha said it is well settled that the testimony given by the witness during the trial has to stand.
"We agree with the trial judges that it is a testimony of the witness in court recorded on May 31, 2003 and July 27, 2007 respectively which has to be accepted. The sting operation carried out in 2008 is unreliable and does not have any evidentiary value," it said.
It said that even if the affidavit filed by Ajay Katara to explain his position in the sting operation was to be ignored, the sting operation allegedly conducted on him is of no legal consequence and effect, and deserves to be discarded.
"It is well settled that it is the testimony given by the witness during the trial which has to stand. In the instant case, the witness had testified not once, but has given identical testimony in two trials, the first on May 31, 2003 (In Vikas and Vishal Yadav's trial) and thereafter more than four years later, on July 27, 2007 in Sukhdev's trial.
"Despite passage of four years and extensive cross examination, the witness remained unshaken. No contradictions between his two statements could be pointed out by the appellants. The vehement reliance on the sting operation on behalf of the appellants is, therefore, misconceived and has to be rejected," it said.