New Delhi: A plea by former Telecom Minister A Raja's erstwhile Private Secretary R K Chandolia against a trial court order refusing to let him ask some "irrelevant" questions from a witness, was dismissed today by the Delhi High Court.
"The trial judge is the best judge to decide relevancy of the questions put up by the defence counsel during cross- examination of a witness and this court cannot interfere in exercise of such discretion by the trial judge unless the same was manifestly illegal or perverse or has resulted in miscarriage of justice.
"I am satisfied that the order of the learned special CBI judge does not suffer from any illegality or infirmity in disallowing certain questions put up by the petitioner's counsel during cross-examination of the witness," Justice M L Mehta said.
The high court earlier had reserved its order on March 15 on Chandolia 's plea that even if a question was irrelevant it cannot be discarded by the trial judge without being answered by the witness.
It was alleged that the denial of opportunities to quiz the prosecution witnesses has "prejudiced" the defence of accused in the case.
The contentions were rejected as "misplaced and mistaken" by the high court, which held that "the special judge was well within his power to disallow a baseless question which in the view of the court was thrown at the witness with an intention to suppress, harass or annoy the witness."
The CBI had opposed Chandolia's plea saying "to allow or to disallow a question is within the discretionary power of the trial judge."
Earlier, Special CBI Judge O P Saini had termed as "irrelevant" a question - Do you have a mobile phone? - posed to a witness, Tarun Das, by Agarwal during his cross-examination in the high-profile 2G case trial.
Das, Deputy Director, Department of Expenditure, Ministry of Finance, had deposed as 12th prosecution whiteness in the case on the issue of "calculation of average revenue per user as per the TRAI Guidelines".