New Delhi: While the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government claimed to have appointed two public prosecutors in Ankit Saxena’s honour killing case, the duo has denied any formal appointment yet.
“Today I can confirm that adequate steps have been taken towards resolving this issue and senior lawyer Rebecca John and Vishal Gossain have been appointed by the government as Special Public Prosecutors in the case,” AAP’s chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
“We are confident that both lawyers will fight the case strongly on behalf of the state and are hopeful of the strictest possible punishment for the accused,” he added.
However, both the advocates maintained that they have not been appointed yet and said that the AAP government had asked whether they could appear as Senior Public Prosecutor (SPP) in the case, several months back.
“I gave my consent. I have not heard anything since then,” said advocate Rebecca John.
The other advocate, Vishal Gossain, said that a proposal was made for his appointment but the file may have been stuck somewhere.
“It’s a statutory procedure that in a criminal trial if a lawyer is appointed as SPP, gazette notification is issued in his favour in his name that for such and such a case, this person is appointed as SPP,” said Vishal.
“As far as AAP government is concerned they had taken our consent that whether we would appear as prosecution (counsel). We had given our consent. And to the best of my knowledge from what I heard and read that they had processed the formal appointment procedure but the file got stuck somewhere,” he added.
Saurabh Bhardwaj had told ANI yesterday, “I have got to know about this from media. I want to assure the family and Ankit’s father that the Delhi government is sensitive about this matter. Why there has been a delay – we will look into it. A good lawyer and compensation will be provided at the earliest. Even if the delay in this matter is found at the officers’ level, then also nobody will be spared.”
This came after Ankit’s father Yashpal Saxena had claimed that he did not receive Rs 5 lakh compensation promised to the family by the AAP-led Delhi government.
23-year-old Ankit Saxena, Yashpal’s only son, was lynched to death in broad daylight in the national capital by his Muslim girlfriend’s family in February last year. The murder took a communal angle but the grief-stricken father put his foot down.
“We have yet not received any compensation. We repeatedly reminded the Delhi government, but they did not pay heed to it. The government has not fulfilled its promise,” Saxena told ANI on Tuesday.
Last year, a case was registered under Sections 302 (murder), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt) and 34 (common intention) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) against Akbar Ali, the father of Ankit’s girlfriend, mother Shahnaaz, a juvenile younger brother and uncle Mohammad Salim.
The Delhi Police, in the charge sheet filed in the case, also stated that the murder was premeditated.
(With ANI Inputs)