In a fresh turn of events in the Geetanjali murder case, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the Panchkula Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court to initiate recovery proceedings — for costs incurred by the Haryana police and the CBI to probe the case — against her father and brother, for turning hostile.
Maintaining that it was prima facie a case of perjury, the high court bench of Justice AB Chaudhari wondered why the CBI and the trial court have not initiated such a proceeding yet.
Geetanjali, wife of then Gurugram chief judicial magistrate Ravneet Garg, was found dead in a park at police lines in Gurugram on July 17, 2013. A licenced revolver belonging to the judge was found lying near her. She had sustained four bullet injuries. After the incident, the Aggarwal family had alleged that she was being harassed for dowry, and on their plea, the state transferred the murder probe to the CBI.
However, her father Om Parkash Aggarwal and brother Pardeep Aggarwal, have now turned hostile.
The high court order came on the bail plea filed by Garg, who was arrested in September 2016 and has since been suspended. He was granted bail on July 27.
Granting him bail, Justice Chaudhari remarked how can the duo be allowed to chuckle at the prosecuting agency and walk away easily without reimbursing costs and paying any compensation when they had only lodged the complaint and forced the state and the CBI to spend money and energy on the case. The father and son had made a hue and cry about the state’s probe following which CBI was roped in.
In December 2016, the CBI filed its chargesheet in the case, wherein they found Ravneet and his parents guilty of causing death for dowry.
“This trend (of witnesses turning hostile) has started setting and must be nipped in the bud,” Justice Chaudhari said, adding that the court is expected to act according to law as the interest of the state and society demands.
In July, Geetanjali’s brother Pardeep had told the trial court that Ravneet did not maltreat his sister. He had even backtracked on the initial complaint of dowry demand.
They gave specific details before police but now they have done a somersault, justice Chaudhari said.
The CBI court has been asked to assess expenses incurred before completion of trial and even attach the duo’s properties for recovery if it feels so.
First Published: Aug 05, 2018 09:17 IST
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