‘Declare accused a proclaimed offender’
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Having failed to arrest Rajender Chaudhary alias Pehalwan, alleged conspirator, bomb planter and facilitator in the Samjhauta Express blast case, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Thursday requested the special NIA Court, Panchkula, to initiate proceedings to declare Chaudhary a proclaimed offender.
Contending on behalf of NIA, Advocates R K Handa and Rajan Malhotra, NIA special public prosecutors, opposed the demand for statements of witnesses in the case made by the defence counsels.
Stating that identity of witnesses in the blast case cannot be disclosed by the investigating agency, NIA counsels averred that the defence could not claim copies of statements of the witnesses. On the other hand, the defence took the plea that the Agency could conceal the identity of the witnesses, but could furnish their statements as they (statements) were essential for the defence to prepare its case.
After detailed arguments, the Court reserved the orders over the two applications. Final order will be pronounced on November 5.
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