Court irked over summons against magistrate



New Delhi: A Delhi court has taken strong note of the issuance of summons against a magistrate even after he had testified as a witness in a murder case involving former Uttar Pradesh MLA Udai Bhan Singh and five others as accused.

"Staff is warned to be careful in future," Special CBI Judge OP Saini said after the lapse of re-summoning the magistrate, who had already testified, was brought to notice.

"Metropolitan Magistrate Sandeep Yadav is present for examination. However, it is revealed that he has already been examined as a prosecution witness and summons were issued to him inadvertently," the court said, cautioning its staff against such lapses.

The court, meanwhile, issued bailable warrants against prosecution witnesses Nirmala Devi and Saket Narayan Shukla after they failed to depose.

"Considering their continuous absence from the court, ... Bailable warrants to the sum of Rs 1,000 be issued against them," it said and fixed the case for November 18 for recording of their statements.

Earlier, witness Sarvesh Narain Shukla had testified that the former Samajwadi Party MLA was inimical to his family and had plotted the murder of his uncle Rakesh Pandey, an eyewitness to a triple murder case.

The former lawmaker was also an accused in the triple murder which was witnessed by Pandey, he claimed.

Pandey, who was to testify in 2003 in an Uttar Pradesh court against the MLA in the case, was first threatened and later killed as he did not buckle under pressure, the witness had said.

The case was transferred to Delhi by the Supreme Court on the ground that Singh allegedly killed one of the witnesses of the triple murder case and a fair trial was not possible against him in Uttar Pradesh.

The former MLA and his accomplices have been charged with killing Pandey on the morning of February 17, 2003 at Gopiganj police station at Sant Ravidas Nagar district near Varanasi.

Initially, Singh and nine others were arraigned as accused for killing Pandey. However, three accused, Santosh Kumar Singh, Vinod Kumar Singh and Bashir Khan, died during the pendency of trial and another accused Kallu was declared a proclaimed offender after he went absconding.

Besides Singh, the other accused are Sandeep Singh, Ashok Mishra, Raj Nath Mishra, Mabud Khan and Vishal Singh.

PTI