The trial began only this January after the Juvenile Justice Board ruled that the accused should be treated as an adult. So far, only 12 witnesses have recorded their statements. The CBI has listed 125 witnesses, and at this pace, it may take several years for the trial to conclude.
On Friday, additional session judge Tarun Singhal noted that only one or two hearings take place in a month and two witnesses are listed by CBI for recording statements at each hearing. The judge said he will change the timing of the hearings to accommodate more witnesses. Till now, the case would be listed post-lunch and hearing would start around 2pm.
The court directed all subsequent hearings to begin at 11am on each date. It said the case will be heard next on September 5 and asked the CBI to bring three witnesses to record statements.
Sushil Tekriwal, counsel for the victim’s father, said two witnesses were scheduled to record their statements through video conferencing, but only one witness — Dr Surjeet, a senior scientific officer from FSL Madhuban, who had examined the blood samples — recorded his statement on Friday.
Another witness, Dr Achal Dwivedi, who analysed the CCTV footage, could not record her statement due to connectivity issues. The court directed her to record her statement in person at the next hearing.
In the previous hearing, on July 20, Pawan Kumar, the owner of a shop from where the accused had allegedly purchased a knife that he used to kill a seven-year-old boy — a Class II student — inside the school in 2017, had refused to identify the juvenile before the court.
The Class II student was found with his throat slit inside the washroom of a leading private school on September 8 that year. The police initially arrested a school bus conductor, who had started working at the institution a few months prior to the incident, as the prime accused on the day of the murder.
CBI took over the investigation later and apprehended a Class XI student of the school AS THE MAIN ACCUSED on November 7. It said the teenager had committed the murder in a bid to get the examinations postponed and a scheduled parent-teacher meeting cancelled. At the time of the incident, the accused was 16 years and five months old. In October last year, the Supreme Court granted him interim bail.