RAJU S/O. HARIDAS KHELKAR Vs. YHE STATE OF MAHARASHTRA
HIGH COURT OF BOMBAY (AT: NAGPUR)
Raju S/O. Haridas Khelkar
Yhe State Of Maharashtra
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(1.) Rule, made returnable forthwith. Heard finally by consent of the learned counsel appearing for the parties.
(2.) The learned Additional Sessions Judge, Chandrapur in Special (POCSO) Case No. 29 of 2014 has passed an order on 09.03.2017 (Exhibit No.19) rejecting the application filed by the accused for grant of permission to refer the testimonies of witnesses recorded before the Magistrate prior to committal of the case to the Special Court, for the purposes of contradiction. The Court has held that the witnesses can be contradicted only when their statement is recorded by Police under Section 161 of Criminal Procedure and there is no provision for using the statement previously recorded by committal Court, to contradict the witnesses. It holds that the accused has opted for de novo trial and the testimonies of the witnesses are washed out and therefore such course is not permissible.
(3.) The accused was prosecuted for the offences punishable under Sections 354 and 506 of the Indian Penal Code. The trial was over and at the time of delivering the judgment, the learned Magistrate found that the charges under Sections 7 and 8 of Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act are required to be added. The accused was asked for the option, which he exercised for de novo trial by filing Pursis at Exhibit 14A on 21/1/2017. The trial was committed to the Sessions Court. During the course of trial before the Special Court, the accused sought permission to refer the testimonies of the witnesses recorded before the Committal Court for the purposes of contradiction.;
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