Khairlanji: Court Proceedings 10th July continued..

06Aug07

 The court again re-assembles at 3P.M.Adv.Jaiswal is ready to cross-examine witness Suresh Khandate who is already standing in the witness – box.
Adv.Jaiswal: You have said before this court that you heard Jagdeesh & Vishvanath sreaming  ”banish those Mahar Caste people from the village’. Is it true?
Wit:Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: But that is not mentioned in your steatment to the Magistrate. Can you give any reasons for it?
wit:No, I can not assign any reason for it.
Adv.Jaiswal: (reads from the paper)”Surekha then came from her house with lighted stick & she put other hut on fire .”Have you given this statement in this court?
Wit:Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: But it is not rcorded in your statement to the Magistrate.Why?
wit: I can not assign any reason for it.
Adv.Jaiswal: You have said in this court that Surekha was chased by all the accused. Have you told this to the Magistrate & C.B.I.?
Wit:Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: But is not mentioned in your recorded statement to the CB.I. & Magistrate, Why?
Wit: I can not assign any reason for it.
Adv.Nikam(interrupting):Sir ,it is there in the C.B.I.statement that Jagdeesh & Ramu ran after her from one side & Prabhakar & Sakru from the other.
Adv.Jaiswal: Sir, my assertion is that he generalised the statement before the Magistrate ; But in this court, he specified it in the context of the persons running after Surekha.
Adv.Jaiswal(to Wit.):After litting up the hut, Surekha ran towards the drain.You said in ths court. Right?
Wit:Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: Then why is it not mentioned in the statement to the Magistrate?
Wit: I can not assign any reason for it.
Adv.Jaiswal: Accused Jagdesh held Surekha by her hairs & dipped her into the water.Is this what you told before this court?
Wit:Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: Then why is it not mentioned in the statement to the Magistrate?
Wit: I can not assign any reason for it.
Adv.Jaiswal:Then you told before this court that, the accused pulled her out of the drain & some accused hit her by cycle chains, some by the sticks & the others by blows of fists & feets due to which , she died. Right?
Wit:Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: Then why is it not mentioned in the statement to the Magistrate?
Wit: I can not assign any reason for that.
Adv.Jaiswal: Was it like this that , Surekha ran towards the cowdung pit, she fell there  & the accused beat her there to death?
Wit:No, such thing did no happen.
Adv.Jaiswal: You said in this court that (reads from the court record). She
ran towards the drain. Shatrughna & Vishvanath  went from her back. Jagdeesh & other accused went from behind the house by the side of the road .Jagdeesh pulled Surekha by her hairs & dipped her into the drain.Other accused took her out of the drain .The accused beat her by cycle chains,sticks & by blows due to which she died & you said to the  magistrate that(reads from the record of the Magistrate) she ran towards the cowdung pit Jagdeesh,Ramu & Prabhakar went from the front side.Then Surekha fell into the cowdung pit.What is correct , suresh, wheather Surekha was killed near the pit or the drain?
Wit:(Tries to speak something)
Adv.Jaiswal(raising his voice):Where Surekha was killed , near pit or drain?
Adv.Nikam(interrupting):If the witness is speaking , why he is stopping him?
Adv.Jaiswal: Mr.Nikam, this is my cross- examination not yours.
Judge:Adv.Jaiswal, You need not stop him if he tries to speak. Ask him again.
Adv.Jaiswal:  In the court of Magistrate you had said that Surekha was beaten near the cowdung pit & u said in this court that Surekha was beaten near the drain.Which of these 2 statements is true? 
Wit(raising his voice):Both are true & I will prove that.
Adv.Jaiswal: Is cowdung pit which is behind Bhaiyyalal Bhotmange’s house is visibe from your house?
Wit:Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: But your statement to the Magistrate says that it is notvisible from ur house.
Wit:I had said that for another pit.There are lot of cowdung pits.
Adv.Jaiswal: I have not asked you how many cowdung pits are there?
Adv.Nikam(objecting) Sir, if the witness has clearly stated the answer ,why Adv.Jaiswal,is putting pressure on the him.
Adv.Jaiswal:Sir, Adv.Nikam is objecting throughout the evidence.
Judge(intervening):Adv.Jaiswal you ask him again.
Adv.Jaiswal: Is the pit where Surekha was killed is different from the drain?
Wit:Yes
Adv.Jaiswal:The specfic roles of the accused who murdered the victims as you told to the Magistrate is true or to this court is true?
Wit:What I told to the Magistrate is not true ; but what I said before this court is true.
Adv.Jaiswal: When Adv.Nikam asked you from where you saw the incidence & you said thatyou saw it from small platform in front of your house .Right?
Wit:Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: Then why you did not tell this to C.B.I.?
wit:I told this neither to C.B.I. nor to the Magistrate.
Adv.Jaiswal: Why?
Wit: I can not give any reasons for that.
Adv.Jaiswal: After Surekh was killed, the accused shouted,”where are the other inmates of the house?” You have said this before this court.right?
Wit:Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: Did you say this to the Magistrate.?
Wit:No.
Adv.Jaiswal: Then why it is not written in your statement?
Wit:I can not assign any reasons for that.
Adv.Jaiswal: Did you tell the Magistrate that Sudhir came out of his house & stood on the road in front of his house?
Wit:Yes, I had told him so.
Adv.Jaiswal: But it is not mentioned in your recorded statement.Can you assign any reason for that?
Wit:No.
Adv.Jaiswal: After that Sudhir ran towards Dhusala road. Did you tell this before C.B.I.or the Magistrate as you told earlier before this court?
Wit:I told this neither to C.B.I. nor to the Magistrate.
Adv.Jaiswal: After that , Sudhir was caught in front of a house as you told earlier before this court.Did you tell this to C.B.I. or the MAGISTRATE?
Wit:No. I told neither.
Adv.Jaiswal: Have you told to C.B.I. that all accused beat Sudhir by
cycle chains & sticks?
Wit: Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: But it is not written in your statement.Why?
Wit: I can not assign any reason for that.
Adv.Nikam(objecting):Sir, it is there in the C.B.I.statement.
Adv.Jaiswal: Then show me that.
Adv.Nikam:There is the statement that all the accused beat Sudhir . My
submission is that the omission is in respect of the weapons.
  (The Judge records the objection of Adv.Nikam)
Adv.Jaiswal: Jagdeesh, Ramu , Vishvanath & Gopal were beating by sticks .Have you said before the Magistrate?
Wit:Yes.
Adv.Jaiswal: Then why is it not recorded ?
Wit:I can not assign any reasons for that.
    (Since it is 5:30 P.M. , the court was adjourned till the next day i.e.11th July)
Out of the court , the local reporters from the regional newspapers who  were used to depend on the defence lawyers for the news about the proceeeding in the well(in)famous Khairlanji case  were gathered to take the press-brief from them. Adv.Neeraj Kahandewale is there to answer their queries.
A reporter:How would you describe the todays proceeding?
Adv.Khandewale:Today can be called as the day of omissions & contradictions.The witness told the court improving his ealier version of the statements.He did not see the weapons as told in the Magistrerial statement.
Another reporter:For how long you will grill him like this?
Adv.kahandewale:Untill the witness himself confesses that he is lieing, we will keep cross-examining him.
    (Later Special Public Prosecutor Adv.Ujwal Nikam was interviewed by the Atrocitynews correspondent)
A.n.c.: Sir , what is your opinion of the deposition of today’s witness?
Adv.Nikam: The witness stated the facts he did not tell the Magistrate.He  confused all by stating that Surekkha was killed on both the spots i.e.at the drain as well as  at the cowdung pit. This is in opposition to his earlier statement of Surekha was killed at the drain .
A.N.C.:So, what is the fate of this witness as you just admitted the contradictions & omissions in his statement.
Adv.Nikam: No,No.I have not said that his deposition included contradictions & omissions .See, human memory is not fallible.There are bound to be certain omiisions & contradictions.The witness does not have photographic memory as if the video tape is replayed at the mental state & this itself proves his truthfulness.
(The A.N.C.thanks him & departs)



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