Defence lawyer points finger at Congress ‘aligned’ newspaperBy IANS
Thursday, September 16, 2010
PANAJI - A newspaper “close” to the Congress party is trying to influence the Goa blast trial in which 11 people linked to right wing Hindu group Sanatan Sanstha were investigated, a local court was told Thursday.
Defence advocate Sanjiv Punalekar in a written submission told the Sessions Court in Margao that Raju Nayak, resident editor of the Goa edition of Lokmat, a Marathi newspaper, and a local Congress worker Vasant Bhat “had consciously and willfully engaged in acts which would create an atmosphere prejudicing the trial against the accused”.
While Nayak has once contested legislative assembly elections on a Congress ticket in the past, Bhat is a priest at a temple located about half a kilometre away from the Sanatan Sanstha (SS) ashram located at Ramnathi, 25 km from Panaji.
Two members of the SS were killed in December 2009 while ferrying the improvised explosive device (IED) which exploded.
Punalekar said in his petition that ‘Lokmat’ was owned by persons who are active in politics and supporters of the Congress party and that Bhat was an active supporter of the Congress.
“These two persons aim at conducting a media trial so that the attention of media is diverted from anti-Hindu strategies adopted by Congress party,” Punalekar’s petition has said.
“The criticism by these two persons of the advocate of the accused - who is an officer of the Court - aims at interfering with judicial proceedings and obstruct administration of justice,” the petition further states.
“These two individuals are also aggrieved by the fact that an advocate is representing the accused and would assist the Court in exposing the truth which they apprehend would be detrimental to their personal interests,” the petition concludes.