Sets aside ASJ order which forbade it saying interview was illegal

The Delhi High Court on Thursday set aside an order by the Additional Sessions Judge trying the December 16 gang-rape case. The ASJ order had dismissed a plea by two of the accused for confronting the complainant and victim’s friend with his interview telecast on Zee News on January 4.

The ASJ had rejected the plea by Ram Singh and his brother Mukesh saying that the interview being in violation of Section 327(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (restraining the media from reporting on court proceedings) was illegal, so it could not be used as evidence or previous statement to confront the victim’s friend. The ASJ had further stated that an interview given to any news channel could not be attached any weight or given credibility and thus the courts should not take the same into consideration for any purpose whatsoever.

Quashing the ASJ order, Justice G.P. Mittal said: “In my view, the learned ASJ acted illegally in shutting the petitioners’ right to put the TV interview to PW1 (victim’s friend) for the purpose of contradicting him with his previous statement or to test his veracity or to impeach his credibility.”

“The impugned order, therefore, cannot be sustained. The same is accordingly set aside with the direction to the trial court to permit the use of video CD for the purpose of Sections 145, 146 and 155 of the Indian Evidence Act of 1872,” Justice Mittal further stated.

“It goes without saying that the petitioners shall be bound to prove authenticity of the video CD if the same is disputed by the witness,” Justice Mittal clarified.

The trial in the case is going on in a fast track court here on a day-to-day basis.

  • Authenticity of video CD containing interview with victim’s friend would need to be proved

  • Two accused had confronted the victim’s friend over his interview telecast on Zee News on Jan 4