COIMBATORE: A court here has reserved its order on the petition seeking a fresh trial in the Muskan-Rithik murder case for May 28.
R Manoharan, the lone surviving accused, had sought a fresh trial in the case alleging that his previous counsel, who was appointed by the legal aid cell, had sided with the prosecution and did not argue enough on his behalf.
When the petition came up for hearing before Mahila Court judge M P Subramaniam, on Wednesday, special public prosecutor U Sankaranarayanan strongly opposed Manoharan’s petition.
Sighting various Supreme Court rulings, he argued that a fresh trial was necessary only when charges framed against an accused were altered or a new accused was included in the case.
“Seeking a fresh trial is not a guaranteed right of the accused,” he said.
Manoharan’s counsel S Rajendran agreed that it was not a matter of rights and only the discretion of the court. But considering the circumstances of the case, he pleaded the court to order for a fresh trial to save an innocent from being punished.
He said a fresh trial was a must to bring out the truth.
“During the examination of the witnesses, the prosecution had asked leading questions. There were instances where courts had acquitted the accused merely because the prosecution had asked leading questions. But Manoharan’s counsel did not even raise objections,” Rajendran argued.
Leading questions should only be used during cross-examination, not during the examination friendly witnesses.
To this, the judge observed that the witnesses were not just examined by the prosecution and the defence counsel, but the court had examined them. He reserved the orders for May 28.