At the first day of the beginning of proceedings for the Kathua rape and murder case of a 8-year old girl, the eight people arrested and accused of the crime demanded narco test be conducted on them as they pleaded not guilty. The case has caused outrage all across the country and a war of words between BJP and the Congress.

The crime branch investigating the case was directed to give copies of the charge sheet to the accused persons as seven of the eight were produced at the court of District and Sessions Judge Sanjay Gupta. The next date of hearing has been fixed on April 28.

A bail application was moved before the chief judicial magistrate by one of the accused who is a minor. That appeal would be heard by the court on Aril 26.

There was a heavy presence of policemen at the court while a large number of lawyers crowded the court room when the eight accused were produced on Monday.

It is alleged that in January of this year, the eight-year girl – belonging to a minority nomadic community, was kidnapped by the accused and was kept in captivity for seven days in a small temple in an obscure village in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. It is alleged that the girl was kept sedated and was physically and sexually tortured during the entire period. She was later beaten and strangulated to death by the accused in a nearby forest.

The police charge sheet, as filed in court, claims that there was careful planning done by the accused before they abducted, raped and killed he minor girl. It was part of a plan to force the nomads out of the area through instilling fear in them through this incident. The crime branch filed a separate charge sheet for against the juvenile accused.

The issue of copy of the charge sheet not being supplied to the accused by the crime branch was raised by lawyers, said Ankur Sharma, the lawyer standing up for the accused Sanji Ram, his son and others.

They have not yet been supplied with a challan copies even though the chief minister of the state has been harping about moving the case to a fast track court, said another lawyer A K Sawahney, who is looking after the case of police constable Tilak Raj accused of destroying evidence.

Demands of narco test before the judge was raised by the prime accused of the case, Sanji Ram, who was the caretaker of the ‘devisthan’ (temple) in the village in Kathua where the incident took place. He said that all of the accused were ready to undergo the test.

Sodium pentothal or sodium amytal is injected into a subject in a narco analysis test. The subject’s sex, age, health and physical condition determines the dosage of the chemical.

There is no legal basis of such a test being considered as evidence in a court of law unless it is ordered for by a judge. Legal experts say that the outcome of a narco test can serve only as a means of corroborating evidence and is generally not considered as a prime evidence.

(Adapted from TiemsofInda.IndiaTimes.com)