Trial in Ponty Chadha killing case begins

New Delhi: A court here Friday started recording prosecution evidence against Uttarakhand minorities panel’s sacked chairman S.S. Namdhari and other accused in connection with the killing of liquor baron Ponty Chadha and his brother Hardeep.

Additional Sessions Judge Vimal Kumar Yadav commenced the trial in the case and recorded the statement of two witnesses.

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Two doctors, including the one who declared Ponty Chadha dead, were examined.

The court has listed the matter for May 15 as next date of hearing.

The court has framed charges against all the 21 accused in the case Feb 15. It had earlier dropped murder charges against all the accused saying that the Nov 17, 2012, shootout that resulted in the killing of Ponty and Hardeep “seems to be an event which happened suddenly and unexpectedly”.

However, it has added charges related to culpable homicide not amounting to murder against Namdhari and his personal security officer Sachin Tyagi. The remaining 19 accused were charged under attempt to murder in connection with the incident.

The court also framed charges against them under various provisions of the Indian Penal Code, including dacoity, rioting with deadly weapons, house trespass, illegal confinement, kidnapping, causing grievous harm and destruction of evidence.

Ponty Chadha and his brother were killed at a farmhouse in Chhattarpur in south Delhi in a shootout Nov 17, 2012, allegedly over a property dispute.

Delhi Police had filed two charge sheets in the case and levelled murder charges against 21 accused. Ponty and Hardeep were also charge sheeted in the case, but the trial against the brothers has been abated as they both died in the shootout.