Chandigarh couple granted bail after witnesses turn hostile in court

Jagpreet Singh Sandhu
The Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Rajesh Sharma, granted bail to the duo in April 2019 after the prime witness, Khushi, turned hostile and did not support the Prosecution. (Representative Image)

A city-based couple booked for the death of their 24-day-old daughter in August 2018, have been granted bail by the Chandigarh district court after five prime witnesses in the case, including the sister of the accused woman, did not support the Prosecution. The accused, Vishal and his wife, Pooja, who was accused of the death of their own daughter, have been facing the trial under sections 304 (culpable homicide not amounting to murder) and 201 (Causing disappearance of evidence of offence, or giving false information to screen offender) of the Indian Penal Code.

During the trial, the prime witness in the case, Khushi, turned hostile and did not support the Prosecution. The Court of Additional District and Sessions Judge Rajesh Sharma, then, granted bail to the duo in April 2019.

Advocates Vikram Singh Vohra and Leena Bharwdwaj argued in court that no recovery is to be effected from both accused after completion of the investigation, while as per Prosecution has as many as 16 witnesses, out of which, complainant and four other witnesses, have already been examined and two material witnesses, who had allegedly witnessed the occurrence, Samina and Khushi, respectively have not supported the prosecution and have categorically stated that the accused did not throw the child on the floor. The lawyers argued that the duo is granted bail.

After hearing the arguments, the court held, …Trial of the case is likely to take sufficient long time and in the given set of facts, no useful purpose would be served by keeping the accused behind the bars…Not only this, the accused is a 23-years-old handicapped lady and it is fairly settled that law is lenient towards women in matter of bail… , observed the court, while granting bail to Pooja. Later, even Vishal was granted bail.

As per records, A case was registered against the couple following an SDM inquiry on August 28, 2018. The Chandigarh Police received information that the body of a 24-day-old girl has been found from a burial. Following this, a postmortem was conducted at GMCH-32, Chandigarh, when the doctor opined that the death was caused due to skull injury. The accused were then arrested.

Later, Khushi (Pooja s sister) moved an application to SSP Chandigarh Police stating that she lived with her sister and brother-in-law and she was at home on the night of incident on August 14. She stated that Pooja threw the child onto the refrigerator in anger, resulting in the child s death. Khushi mentioned that her brother-in-law was sleeping at the time of the incident. After the child died, Pooja beat her up and warned her as not to disclose about it to anyone, Khushi alleged. She further stated that the following morning, when Vishal found that the child was not moving, he rushed the child to GMCH-32, where duty doctors declared her brought dead. The couple then buried the girl child at Hallomajra cremation ground on August 15.