New Delhi: Sacked Uttarakhand minorities panel chief Sukhdev Singh Namdhari on Thursday told the Delhi High Court that the lower court had rightly dropped the murder charge levelled against him and 20 others in the case relating to the 2012 shootout in which liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep were killed.
Opposing the Delhi police move against a trial court order to drop murder charge against all 21 accused in the case, Namdhari said the finding of the trial court was fair enough and cannot be challenged.
Namdhari in his over 20-page reply filed before a bench of Justice Indermeet Kaur, who had on July 8 issued a notice to him and others on the revision petition of Delhi Police, said the allegations were being levelled against his client to defame him.
Police assailed the trial court order, passed on January 15, to drop the serious murder charge against the accused who were connected to Ponty and Hardeep and allegedly fired at each other in connection with a property dispute between the brothers.
Namdhari's advocate RS Malik, who had before the trial court maintained that his client was innocent and did not open fire at Hardeep, said there is no illegality in the charge- framing order of the lower court.
Meanwhile, the remaining 20 accused sought more time to file their responses on the police appeal against the trial court findings.
The high court has now asked the remaining accused to file their replies before October 16.
The trial court had dropped the murder charge against all the accused.
It, however, had added the offence of culpable homicide not amounting to murder against the alleged main conspirator Namdhari and his personal security officer Sachin Tyagi, which entails maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
Ponty and Hardeep, who allegedly had a property dispute, were killed in a shootout at a Chhattarpur farmhouse here on November 17, 2012.