Mangaluru, May 17, 2018: The State government has filed a criminal appeal against the judgment of a local magistrate court acquitting all the 26 accused in the 2009 pub attack case in Mangaluru.
Following sanction by DK DC Sasikanth Senthil S. on April 28 this year, prosecutor of the II Judicial Magistrate First Class (JMFC) Court on May 5 filed before the Principal District and Sessions Court the criminal appeal under Sections 378, 382, 386 and 391 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The case was transferred to the VI Additional District and Sessions Court, which has issued notice to 26 respondents. The case has been posted on June 27.
The II JMFC Magistrate Manjunatha R. on March 12 acquitted 26 of the 30 persons arrested following the attack on young men and women at Amnesia Bar and Restaurant in Mangaluru in January 2009.
The Magistrate acquitted Sri Rama Sene chief Pramod Muthalik and 25 others of the charge under Sections 143, 147, 448, 341, 342, 323, 504, 505(2), 506 and 120(B). While the case against three accused persons has been kept pending as they failed to appear before court, the case against one was abated as he died.
Lack of evidence : In his order, the Magistrate mentioned about the absence of any evidence before court about the attack. The Magistrate pointed out that women customers, who were reportedly attacked by the accused, were not procured by the Investigation Officer and they were not citied as witnesses.
The Magistrate also pointed out at the failure of the Investigation Officer in producing before court the photographs and videos of the attack, which were widely circulated on the social media.
He also made note of nine eye-witnesses, including a male customer who was victim of the assault, and the complainant (the owner of the bar) turning hostile before court. The Magistrate has mentioned several other lapses in the investigation of the case.
Public protests : Following public outcry over the acquittal, the Directorate of Prosecution asked a senior public prosecutor to study the judgment.
The senior official recommended filing an appeal as he felt that there was a need for examination of more witnesses in the case.
The Director of Prosecution agreed with the recommendation and asked the prosecutor of II JMFC Court to seek sanction of the Deputy Commissioner for filing the appeal.
Accordingly, the prosecutor has written the letter to the DK DC on March 28. As per Section 391 of the Cr.PC, if the Sessions Court feels that there is need for additional evidence, it might record additional evidence on its own or direct the Magistrate to do it.