Assault case: Counsel VC Nagesh alleges that Nalapad did not assault Vidvat

The matter has been posted for March 14 when the bail order will be passed.
Assault case: Counsel VC Nagesh alleges that Nalapad did not assault Vidvat
Assault case: Counsel VC Nagesh alleges that Nalapad did not assault Vidvat
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Court Hall 21 at the Karnataka High Court was bursting at the seams on Monday afternoon, with journalists and lawyers packed into the hall to listen to Mohammed Haris Nalapad’s counsel. The court was hearing the bail plea of Nalapad.

Nalapad’s counsel VC Nagesh made several startling allegations against Vidvat and his father J Loganathan in the Karnataka High Court.

Nalapad, the former Bengaluru District General Secretary of the Youth Congress was arrested for brutally assaulting 24-year-old Vidvat in Bengaluru’s Farzi Cafe.

According to the statement Vidvat gave to the Central Crime Branch, Nalapad was wearing knuckle rings at the time Nalapad beat Vidvat up on the night of February 17.

“The ring is a concoction. An invention made by the prosecution. In the submissions I will make, my lord, I will prove it to you,” VC Nagesh began.

Nagesh argued that in the complaint filed by Praveen Venkatakachalaiah at the time the FIR was registered, the investigating officer’s report in the case diary, and in subsequent remand applications filed by the CCB, it had not been mentioned anywhere that Nalapad wore knuckle rings.

“Pieces of the glass bottle and the jug used to hit Vidvat have been seized from Farzi Café. This is what the investigating officer’s report reads. In the voluntary statements provided by the accused as well, there is no mention of the rings. So far, in all the reports filed in the sessions court, there has been no mention of the ring. So how did the third material object come into existence? It was concocted by the prosecution. It is an invention to divert attention from something which was nothing more than a drunken brawl,” VC Nagesh argued.

Nalapad’s lawyer stated that the complaint filed by Vidvat’s friend Praveen on February 17, his panchanama statement filed on February 18 and also the statement given by J Loganathan, Vidvat’s father, to the Cubbon Park Police on February 23, “clearly state that Nalapad did not assault Vidvat”.

Post this, VC produced the case diary - in which the recorded statements were attached - before Justice Srinivas Harish Kumar.

“In all these three statements and the remand applications, there is no mention that Nalapad assaulted Vidvat and even the victim’s father’s statement says that Nalapad did not assault Vidvat,” he added.

At this point, Justice Srinivas intervened and said that he had watched the CCTV footage.

“I have watched the CCTV footage. It shows he (Nalapad) was the first to assault,” Justice Srinivas observed.

VC Nagesh then submitted a CD to the judge. The CD contained a video of Vidvat speaking to the media on the morning of February 18, the day after he was assaulted.

“This is the video of Vidvat speaking to the media on February 18 morning, the day after he was assaulted. In the video, we can also see that someone goes up to him and whispers something in his ear, after which he stops talking. If he was able to talk to the media just a few hours after the incident, then why did he not talk to the CCB when they visited him at the hospital to obtain his statement four times after the incident happened? He was coached by someone to not speak so that the petitioner does not get bail. He could speak to media but not investigators,” VC Nagesh said.

Stating that the discharge summary was obtained by local news channels a day before it was uploaded on Facebook by Nalapad’s father NA Haris, VC Nagesh argued that there was no law stating that the discharge summary is a secret document, especially in a medico-legal case.

“Look at the case diary. You will see that the investigators had obtained the discharge summary. If the media can get the discharge summary one day before the petitioner’s father could, then what is wrong with uploading it on social media? Clearly, Vidvat was concocting ailments which did not exist when the doctors repeatedly told him that he could be discharged and taken home way before March 2,” VC Nagesh questioned.

In the arguments presented on March 9, Special Public Prosecutor Shyam Sundar had argued that Dr Anand, who signed off on Vidvat’s discharge summary, was related to Congress leader Nagaraj Reddy, who pressured him to leak the document to NA Haris.

Responding to these claims, VC Nagesh said that Loganathan was related to the Ashwath Gowda, the Investigating Officer, and also a DGP.

“When the prosecution can make unchartered claims about my client, I do not have a choice but admit that Vidvat’s father is related to the Investigating Officer Ashwath Gowda. Former Deputy CM Ashoka goes to hospital and address media. Why? The DGP goes to the station and alters the charges to 307. Why? Something is fishy here. These are the hidden hands in the case,” Nagesh argued.

After nearly two hours of submissions made by Nalapad’s lawyer, Justice Srinivas adjourned the court and posted the case for Wednesday, when the order on the bail would be passed. “It is a simple case. But for the public attention, I do not find anything special in it,” Justice Srinivas said.

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