New Delhi: The Delhi High Court on Wednesday asked the city government to issue a notification for appointing a prosecutor to assist it in hearing appeals against a lower court verdict in the 2010 Mirchpur Dalits killings case.
"The Delhi government is directed to ensure compliance of our earlier order and issue an appropriate notification at the earliest for appointing a public prosecutor in the case," a bench of justices S Ravindra Bhat and S P Garg said.
The direction came during the hearing a batch of appeals of some convicts who have challenged the verdict of the lower court, which last September convicted 15 of 97 undertrials, accused of burning alive a 70-year-old man and his physically challenged daughter at Mirchpur in Haryana`s Hissar district.
The court was to commence hearing today on the petitions, also including a plea of the victim`s family for enhancement of punishment for the convicts.
It expressed displeasure after it was told by the lawyers that they were not ready as the entire records, running into nearly 7,000 pages, have not been supplied to them.
"It had already been made clear to you that the records can be supplied in the form of a CD only," the bench said.
On being told by a prosecutor that the Delhi government, so far, has not issued a notification for appointing a state lawyer in the case, Justice Bhat directed that a decision on the issue be taken "at the earliest".
The court, however, did not issue a direction to appear to the Home Secretary, Haryana as sought by the prosecutor on the ground that the cooperation was needed as Delhi Government is pursuing the case relating to the offence which took place at Haryana.
Meanwhile, the court asked the SHO of Tilak Marg police
station here to coordinate with Hissar SSP for informing it about the convicts on their plea seeking suspension of sentence till disposal of their appeals.
The court, which was hearing seven petitions, has now fixed them for hearing on July, 16, 17 and 18 and asked the lawyers to complete their records.
Earlier, Additional Sessions Judge Kamini Lau, who heard and decided the case after it was transferred from Haryana in pursuance of a Supreme Court order, had convicted 15 of the 97 accused in the matter.
Later, three of the 15 convicts were sentenced to life imprisonment for their involvements in the killings of Tarachand and his daughter Suman. Five others were awarded varying jail terms up to five years, while seven convicts were released on probation.
Fifteen convicts, belonging to Jat community, were held guilty for setting ablaze Tarachand`s house, which caused the deaths. The incident took place after a dispute between Jats and Dalits of the village.