JORHAT, Oct 24 - The Court of the District and Sessions Judge (Jorhat) on Wednesday framed charges against 32 accused in the sensational Dr Deben Dutta murder case.
Dr Dutta, a septuagenarian doctor at the Teok Tea Estate Hospital, was lynched by a mob of tea garden workers at the hospital on August 31, following which there was an uproar across and outside the state.
Police had arrested 32 workers within a week and booked them under several Sections of the Indian Penal Code and a court sent them to judicial custody.
Advocate Rintu Goswami, who is also the president of the Jorhat Bar Association, and who had on October 19 filed a petition in the said court to assist the prosecution after being approached by the family of Dr Dutta and the Indian Medical Association, told this newspaper that the court on Wednesday, while passing the order of framing of charges against the accused, also accepted Goswami�s plea to assist the prosecutor.
Goswami said the court found prima facie material in the evidence submitted by police and also in the charge sheet filed by police against the accused persons to frame the charges for conducting the trial.
The lawyer said that apart from the various IPC Sections applied by police on the accused, the court added another, IPC Section 353, against the accused persons. Section 353 is meant to be imposed upon any person found to be committing an assault or using criminal force to deter a public servant from discharge of his or her duty.
Police applied 302, 341, 342, 427, 506, 143, 144, 147, 148, 149 of the IPC along with Section 4 of the Assam Medicare Service Persons and Medicare Service Institutions (Prevention of Violence and Damage to Property) Act ,2011 against the accused.
Goswami further stated that it was disclosed in the court that the State government has appointed advocate Durga Jaiswal of Golaghat as the prosecutor in the case to lead the prosecution process against the accused. The court has fixed November 3, 4 and 5 as the next dates of hearing of the case, Goswami said.
It may be mentioned here that police filed a 602-page charge sheet within 22 days of committing of the crime and named 60 witnesses including eyewitnesses, forensic staff, police and others.
Last week, the family of Dr Dutta reportedly expressed disappointment over the State government for not complying with the assurance it had earlier given to the family of holding the trial in a fast-track court.