CBI has allowed by the court here in Delhi to bring 97 additional witnesses, missed out earlier due to “inadvertence”, against INLD leader Abhay Chautala, younger son of five-time Haryana Chief Minister Om Prakash Chautala facing trial a disproportionate assets (DA) case.
Special CBI Judge Manu Rai Sethi allowed the agency’s plea to lead 97 additional prosecution witnesses and also 44 documents which the agency claimed could not be filed earlier on account of “inadvertence”.
Allowing CBI’s plea, the judge said, “In considered opinion of this Court, charge sheet cannot be deemed to be a document which cannot later on be supplemented.
“In case there is any lapse on part of Investigating Officer or even of the Investigating Agency in not placing on record complete list of witnesses and documents at the initial stage, obviously, prosecution should not be made to suffer for the same…”
A DA case was registered against Abhay in 2009 for owning assets worth over five times his income of Rs 22.89 crore, as per the income tax records, during 2000-05. The CBI claimed to have found assets worth Rs 119.69 crore.
CBI had in its original charge sheet against him annexed a list of 141 documents and 160 witnesses.
During arguments, Abhay’s counsel Harish Sharma vehemently opposed CBI’s plea saying the charge sheet in the matter was filed in December, 2009 while the FIR was registered in 2006 and it took nearly four years for CBI to realise that due to inadvertence some documents and witnesses remained to be brought on record.
He also said charges were framed against Abhay in July 2011 and since then many prosecution witnesses have already been examined and CBI had for some reasons chosen not to file complete documents.