TAMIL NADU

Prosecution to re-examine witnesses in Aladi Aruna case

Mohamed Imranullah S.

MADURAI: The Madras High Court on Tuesday granted conditional permission to the prosecution to re-examine two hostile witnesses in the murder case of former Law Minister V. Arunachalam alias Aladi Aruna.

Dismissing a petition filed by the prime accused, S.A. Raja, before the Madurai Bench, Justice K.N. Basha said the prosecution could examine the witnesses only with respect to contradictions in the statements made by them before the police and the court under Section 161 and 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“It is made clear that the prosecution should not put any other question apart from eliciting such contradictions … It is equally made clear that in the event of recalling the witnesses, the learned trial judge should also give opportunity to the defence to cross examine the witnesses,” the Judge added.

“No prejudice”

It was well-settled law by a catena of decisions that the prosecution or the defence was entitled to recall any witness at any stage of the trial. No prejudice would be caused to the defence in allowing the prosecution to re-examine the witnesses. The only caution to be taken was that the prosecution should not be allowed to fill up any lacunae in the case through such re-examination.

The former Minister was murdered along with his friend, R. Ponraj, near Alangulam in Tirunelveli district on December 31, 2004. The case is being tried before the Tirunelveli Principal Sessions Judge.