Kanpur, Feb 27 (IANS) The much-awaited judgment in the Behmai massacre case was deferred for the sixth time on Wednesday on the ground that the original case diary was not available.
The specially constituted court has now fixed March 18 as the next date of hearing. It has directed its office to inform the DGP that the original case diary is missing from the court file.
Earlier, the court had adjourned its verdict on January 6, 18, 24, 30 and February 12 on the same ground.
According to the district government counsel (DGC), Rajiv Porwal, the court had issued the letter to SP Kanpur Dehat, Anurag Vats, about the missing case diary.
The SP on Wednesday informed the court that the original case diary was not with the police.
Explaining the importance of the case diary, the DGC said the case diary is a document in which an investigation officer mentions about the probe conducted in a case and records statements in writing. It is submitted in the court at the time of filing of a charge sheet, he added.
The court provides copy of the charge sheet to the accused before commencement of trial.
The defence, at the time of prosecution evidence, uses copy of the case diary to match the statements recorded under section 161 of CrPC during investigation and point out any addition in the statements or facts.
“This phase was already over. As per practice, now the case diary has no use except that it is to be kept in the record,” the DGC said.
Abhimanyu Kumar Sachan, a senior advocate, said, “The apex court had held that case diary is a part of the case file and judicial official can take its help at the time of judgment”.
If original case diary is missing and its photocopy is on the record, then judgment can be delivered, he added.
The DGC said the court clerk had mentioned in his report that the photocopy of the case diary was on the file.
The Behmai carnage case was filed against over 36 dacoits, including Phoolan Devi on February 14, 1981 but, at present, it is being heard against four dacoits — Posa, Bheekha, Vishwanath a.k.a. Putani and Shyam Sundar.
Four dacoits are absconding and the remaining, including Phoolan Devi, had either died or killed in police encounters.
Behmai massacre had shaken the entire country as this was the first case in which the dacoits had killed over 20 villagers after lining them up. All the victims belonged to the Thakur community.