By Ananya Bhatnagar The Aam Aadmi Party on Thursday said its government has appointed two leading criminal lawyers as Special Public Prosecutors (SPP) in the case of honor killing of a young photographer last year but the two lawyers said they have not been appointed 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. "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," AAP's chief spokesperson Saurabh Bhardwaj said.
However, when contacted by ANI, both advocates maintained that they have not been appointed yet. "AAP government asked me whether I could appear as Senior Public Prosecutor in the case, several months back. I gave my consent. I have not heard anything since then," said advocate Rebecca John, who is away in Spain.
The other advocate, Vishal Gossain, said 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.
"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. Basically, consent was taken last year, but thereafter, we haven't appeared in the matter as of yet," Advocate Vishal Gossain said over the phone. Yesterday, the AAP government had assured the family of the youth that compensation would be paid. 23-year-old Ankit Saxena was lynched to death in broad daylight in the national capital allegedly by his girlfriend's family in February last year.
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.
"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.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)