All six witnesses stood by their testimonies during cross-examination

The father of acid attack victim Vinodhini, a prime witness to the crime, was cross-examined by defence counsel on Thursday, the second day of the trial in the district and sessions court here.

Lawyers for the accused, Suresh Kumar, disputed the exact crossroads at which acid was hurled at 23-year-old Vinodhini by her spurned pursuer in November last.

Contesting her father, 56-year-old Jayabalan’s testimony, the defence counsel suggested that Jayabalan was not even present at the scene and that he was “tutored” by the prosecution. According to the defence, it was somebody else that hurled nitric acid and that Suresh Kumar was not at the crime scene. At this point, the agitated Jayabalan said, “She was my family. I don’t have to be taught to testify.” Sessions Judge Margaret Roselin intervened to calm him.

According to the defence lawyer, there was a discrepancy in the depositions of two witnesses with regard to the name of the street where the incident took place. The judge advised the counsel to pose the question instead to other witness and not to the victim’s father, who stood by his testimony.

The trial began on Monday and continued here on Thursday with six prime witnesses, including Vinodhini’s parents and a friend present at the time of the attack, being cross-examined by the defence. All six witnesses stood by their testimonies during the cross-examination.

The court, besides taking up the deposition of 10 prime eye-witnesses on day one, had also recorded expert testimony, including that of a finger-print expert from the Finger Print Bureau, Puducherry; a Chemical Examiner from the Government Chemical Laboratory, Puducherry, on the properties of nitric acid; two doctors from the casualty ward and the resident medical officer of Karaikal Government Hospital; and doctors from Kilpauk Medical College Hospital, Chennai, where the girl was treated for over three months till the time of her death in February.

The prosecution awaits the testimony of the magistrate who recorded the dying declaration, police witnesses, and the doctor who conducted the autopsy. Recording of their deposition has been posted for June 25.

Awaiting relieving order

Judge Margaret Roselin is under transfer and is awaiting her relieving order. She will be replaced by a sub-judge from Yanam, elevated as a district judge and transferred to Karaikal.

More In: Tamil Nadu | National