New Delhi, Feb. 24: Delhi High Court today took suo motu cognisance of media reports on police failing to submit concrete evidence to nail the accused in the Jessica Lal murder case.
Media reports on the verdict in the case have sparked a countrywide debate on the influence of money and power in criminal investigations.
The prosecution is yet to decide on going for an appeal against the acquittal of all the accused in the case.
A division bench of Justices Vijender Jain and Rekha Sharma issued a notice to police commissioner K.K. Paul and asked him to respond within four weeks. Posting the matter for hearing on April 19, it directed the police to submit all details of the case in which the nine accused were acquitted by a trial court on Tuesday.
The suo motu notice by the high court has raised hopes for a retrial on the lines of the Best Bakery case and action against erring policemen.
Section 482 of the CrPC vests an inherent power in high courts to issue orders to prevent “abuse of the process of any court” or otherwise to “secure the ends of justice”.
Some legal experts believe that if the court directs action against the police, it would most likely also order a retrial. “Action against policemen would go on to say that there was no justice and, hence, a retrial should be ordered,” said an expert.
Others, however, are of the opinion that as the case failed primarily because of witnesses turning hostile, there was little likelihood of a conviction even in a retrial. There was no chance of getting fresh evidences after so many years.