FSL officer penalised for non-appearance before court

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Udupi, 23 Oct: Udupi District and Sessions Court Judge Venkatesh Naik on Monday ordered an official of Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) to furnish a bond amount of Rs 10,000 to state government for failing to appear before the court hearing the Bhaskar Shetty murder case.


The FSL official Purushottam, who happens to be among the 36 witnesses listed in the charge-sheet filed by the investigating officer in the murder of the Udupi-based NRI entrepreneur, had been issued warrants to testify before the court in connection to the case. However, he remained absent from two successive court hearings whereafter a third bailable warrant was issued against him.


The judge did not buy the defense put forth by the public prosecutor in Purushotham’s favour, claiming that he was unable to travel because he was suffering from a ’disc problem’ and ordered that a sum of Rs 10,000 be recovered from the salary of Purushotham towards the bond amount. 


The court has been under tremendous pressure, after the Supreme Court had ordered it to examine and record statements of all 36 witnesses within six months from April 23, 2018. Barring Purushottam, examination of the remaining 35 witnesses in the case have been completed. A conditional bail granted to Rajeshwari Shetty by the Supreme Court on the same day was not executed as the statements of all 36 witnesses was not recorded as per SC’s order.


The statements of main accused and Bhaskar’s wife Rajeshwari, his son Navneeth and astrologer Niranjan Bhat were recorded through video conferencing facility arranged in the court.


The next hearing in the case will be held on October 26.


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