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An estimated 96-minute read

Live blog: 2nd NUSRL National Trial Advocacy Competition, 2017

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National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi, is proud to announce the 2nd edition of National Trial Advocacy Competition, 2017. The first edition of this competition, held in 2015, was able to produce some outstanding results. We saw huge participation from law schools all across the nation, young talents proving their metal in the court rooms, and we also stood witness to some intense courtroom drama, few of which lasted several hours. As a matter of fact, we saw a lot of quality across the entire field of participants.

This year, we are back with the 2nd edition of National Trial Advocacy Competition, 2017, which shall witness participation from 15 law schools from all across the country. Participating Universities are as follows:

1. Alliance University, Bangalore

2. Chanakya National Law University, Patna

3. Chotanagpur Law College

4. Government Law College, Thiruvananthapuram

5. Gujarat National Law University

6. Institute of Law, Nirma University

7. Law College, Durgapur

8. Lloyd Law College, Delhi

9. National Law Institute University, Bhopal

10. National Law University and Judicial Academy, Assam

11. Saveetha School of Law, Chennai

12. School of Law, Christ University

13. The Law College, Utkal University

14. The National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi

15. The Tamil Nadu Dr Ambedkar Law University

16. Bengal Law College, Shantiniketan

A Trial Advocacy Competition is similar to a sessions trial. It focuses on improving one’s litigating skills through fundamental methods like strategic planning, witness examination, delivering of opening statements and closing arguments. In short, it gives a true court room experience, which is beneficial for law students.

The problem hence set forth, is based on General Principles of Criminal Law and involves various documents like the charge sheet, autopsy report, death certificate, the FIR and various other testimonies and accounts, which are the subject of scrutiny. Essentially, the diverse setting of a Criminal Trial has been set, and the teams shall now begin!

The competition is a three day event scheduled from May 12th, 2017 to May 14th, 2017. The event shall begin on May 12th, 2017 with a Grand Opening Ceremony. Registrations, Researchers test, Draw of lots and First Preliminary Round shall be held on May 12th, 2017 while Second Preliminary Rounds and Semi Finals shall be held on May 13th, 2017. The final two teams shall battle it out in the finale which is to be held at the Judicial Academy, Jharkhand on May 14th, 2017.

The Preliminary Rounds shall be judged by Advocates and Judicial Magistrates of State while the Semi Final Rounds shall be judged by Sri Nalin Kumar, Additional Director of Judicial Academy, Jharkhand and the Senior Advocates of Jharkhand High Court. The Grand Finale will be judged by none other than Sri Gautam Kumar Choudhary, Director of Judicial Academy Jharkhand cum Acting Vice Chancellor of National University of Study & Research in Law, Ranchi himself, Sri Rajiv Ranjan , Chairman, Jharkhand State Bar Council as well as sitting High Court Judges.

As an institution of excellence reiterating our vow to quality, passion, dynamism, innovation and brilliance, we are proud to host this competition as it is going to be one of its kind. Therefore, it shall be our utmost duty to put in sincere effort in aggrandizing the overall experience of the competition and the hospitality for the participants thus striving to make this event a magnificent one!

All the updates from the competition will be made live on this live blog, which did a commendable job in the previous edition, are committed to give our readers a better experience this time around as well.

The action starts on12th May, so stay tuned for this amazing event!

Teams have arrived and we are all set to go live tomorrow!

 Day 1: Let the Trial Begin! - Registration, Researchers' Test and Preliminary Round- I

National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi is all geared up to host the 2nd edition of the National Trial Advocacy Competition. The teams have arrived on the spot and will soon register themselves. 

The Draw of Lots shall commence as soon as the teams have finished registering themselves

11:00: All the teams are in attendance. Geared up to rule the competition. Right at the beginning we thank Akshay Anurag and Somesh Chaoudhary for all the clicks to come! 

                                           

Registration- Name, Please? 

11:15 Mrs. Hiral Mehta, Mrs, Priya Vijay and Mr. Mainan Ray, on the behalf of the entire NUSRL fraternity, welcomes all the participants. The registration process has begun. The competition is now officially open! 

11:38: The registrations are now almost coming to the end. The preperation for the Draw of Lots is about to begin shortly. 

11:45 With the end of the registration and then tension drawing in, to bring some cheer to the mood , the participants were gifted a chocolate cakepop each, a gift of welcome to NUSRL! 

11:58 AM: Phew! The Bengal Law College  just reaches the competition venue, at the last minute. Better late than never! 

12:00 PM Researchers' Test: The Researchers test has begun - Daunting looks exchange around the room. Going by their faces, they questions seems gruesome. The Test consists of subjective and MCQ type questions only based on facts and rule involved in the instant case. May you all make it happen!  

12:12: Draw of Lots has started. May the odds be ever in favor!

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12:18: Mr. Hemant Jain briefs the teams about the format and basic rules of the trial and calls the draw of lots open by picking up chits which shall ascertain their opponents in Prelims-I 

12:30PM: Draw of Lots have ended. Exchange of memorials begins now!  Meanwhile, the MCC members have started with the tabulation of the fixtures and court hall arrangements. 

2:50 PM: The Researchers’ Test and Memorial exchange has ended. The takers of the test look dismayed and hurry down the corridors to find their team mates. Bell for the lunch is ringing! The bus will ply to the mess at 01:30PM for lunch. 

And we are back after the lunch break!

2:45 PM: Teams have started briefing their witnesses for the first Prelimiary Rounds.

First Prelimary Rounds- Let the Courtroom drama begin!

Courtroom 1: Bengal Law College v Law College, Durgapur

3:58 PM: The first speaker of the prosecution has started briefing the judges with the facts of the case

4:30 PM: PW 5 is describing the friendship shared between her and the victim and how much the victim loved her husband.

4:34 PM: Chief examination of DW1 starts. The accused is in state of shock and explaining how he can’t imagine his ife without his wife.

4:52 PM: DW5 recalls how one day Ashma collapsed in his house when a party organized by him. With this comes the end of Chief examination of witnesses. Now the Court is preparing for the much anticipated cross-examination of the witnesses.

4:58 PM: DW3 proclaims that Nakul was the only child of her and she never mistreated Ashima

5:12 PM: Cross examination of DW1 is still underway. The First objection is made by the defence which is sadly disallowed by the judges.

5:20 PM: DW4 is presented with some photograph to explain whether the cause of death was pool of blood found on the pillow to which he states that he cannot certainly make that assumption

5:24 PM: DW5 answers prosecution’s question of him not having any knowledge about the letter Ashima sent to her friend.

5:34 PM: The defence is trying to prove that PW3, an investigating officer, is not competent for his services and is biased while conducting his duties. This contention of the defence is going well with the Court.

5:57 PM: The teams are now preparing their closing statements and findings of the evidence.

6:19 PM: The Defence is now giving their closing statements to which the judges are agreeing favorably and are looking convinced.

6:23 PM: Defence prays before the Court to dismiss the case as it being malicious in nature and no concrete evidence found to establish the case against the accused. The Hon’ble Judges are satisfied with the proceedings and the Court is adjourned.

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Courtroom 2: Saveetha School of Law v Lloyd Law College

4:00 PM: The judges are in the hall and the first speaker on behalf of the prosecution has taken position on the podium and is confidently speaking before the Hon'ble judges about the relevant facts of the case and jurisdiction

4:03 PM: The first speaker for the defence comes forth and very confidently introduces himself and his co-counsel and continues, with the permission of the hon'ble judges, with his opening statement and acquaints the court with the facts of the case as per the defence

4:07 PM: The counsel for the prosecution comes forth and seeks permission to call the first witness to the court.

4:08 PM: The witness takes his place on the witness stand and after the oath, is asked by the prosecution his signature and the events of the fatal day which he duly answers. All of which is recorded by the stenographer on the directions of the Hon’ble judges 

4:18 PM: The witness is continued to be grilled by the judges but he satisfactorily answers all the queries

4:36 PM: After the short interrogation, the PW 3 who is the administrative officer is called on the box and is asked if he consents that each statement of the witness was consented by him.

4:43 PM: After satisfactorily questioning the witness, the defence calls the father of the deceased, Mr Chatterjee. The air becomes tense as the prosecution contradicts the questions posed by the defence twice on account of the question being vague and contradictory to the facts of the case. The judges waive the contradiction and the defence continues to question the witness.

4:47 PM: Everyone in the courtroom is absolutely mesmerised by the interrogation and the stenographer notes the important statements on the directions of the judges

4:58 PM: The counsel while cross examining the witness questions him of details such as the clothes being worn by respective people which are contradicted by the prosecution as a fact hardly anyone would remember.

5:00 PM: Miss Kaur is called on the witness box and she describes, on the demand of the judges and the defence, how Ashima, the deceased told her about the bad state of her marriage. The counsel concluded that her testimony was vague on the point whether there was any dowry demanded or not.

5:18 PM: The defence calls the next witness, Mrs Rekha Khanna, mother in law of the deceased. She satisfactorily answered all the questions posed by the counsel for the defence and hence, brings to light many important aspects of the case. All of these were duly noted and recorded by the court.

5:32 PM: Tension fills the room, as the counsel for the prosecution is geared up to cross examine WD1, the husband of the deceased.

5:38 PM: The defence accuses the prosecution of confusing the witness by posing compound questions. The examination continues.

5:51 PM: The air takes a tense toll as the witness laughed while answering a question of the prosecution. She is accused of taking the case in a very light manner, which was strongly denied by the witness.

6:03 PM: The cross is taking an interesting turn as the prosecution questions the Witness of the ailments suffered by the deceased. The judges scolded the prosecution as he asked the same question repeatedly and the prosecution, taking note, duly continues with his examination.

6:06 PM: The witness stands down and the trial is on hold for 7 minutes on account of procuring further testimony of the witnesses.

6:16 PM: The prosecution seeks permission for extra time and continues to deliver his closing statement with various important authorities.

6:40 PM: All stand as the Hon'ble judges leave the room and the teams seem quite satisfied with their performance

 
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Courtroom 3: Christ University v Chotanagpur Law College

3:53 PM: Hon’ble Judges are escorted in and are present in the Court Room. The excitement and anticipation inside the Court Room is palpable. Both the teams look prepared and eager to begin with the proceedings.

3: 57 PM: The first speaker of prosecution has approached the dais and begun his opening statement.

4: 02 PM: The counsel on behalf of the prosecution rests.

4:09 PM : The next PW is called upon. She introduces herself as the mother of the deceased, Sushma Chaterjee and sadly states before the court that her daughter is the deceased in the case. She narrates how her daughter was pressurised and taunted by her inlaws.

4:14 PM: The judges warn the Counsel examining the witness, that he is not supposed to ask specific and leading questions.

4:26 PM: The judges ask the defence if it is satisfied with the amount of money quoted which was allegedly demanded by Nakkul. They answer in affirmative.

4: 30 PM : The defence counsel approaches the podium. There is confusion in the courtroom regarding the designation of the counsels as Speaker 1 and 2, which they are asked to clarify before the bench.

4:45 PM: The counsel for defence, when he approaches the podium is admonished for not seeking the court’s permission for approaching the bench.

5:01PM: The prosecution Counsel (Speaker 1) seeks permission to cross examine all 5 Defence Witnesses.

5:02 PM: The Prosecution counsel, very confident in his approach sets out to question the witnesses. He is impressively fast with his questions but before he could get the witness to falter the Hon’ble judges come to rescue. The counsel is asked to give the witness a chance to speak and not interfere with his depositions.

5:22 PM: The prosecution finishes cross examining all the defence witnesses and seek permission for time to be granted for the preparation of their closing statement. The bench grants 12 minutes for the purpose. The grant of such time to the prosecution is a discretionary power of the court.

5: 44 PM: Questions are put to the counsel at the end of his closing by the Hon’ble Bench. Speaker No 1, impatient in his seat and finally rising to help his co-counsel, exasperation apparent on his face.

 

5:53 PM: Speaker 1 of the Prosecution team seeks permission for rebuttal and rebuts points raised by the defence.

6:07 PM : The Court is adjourned until the verdict

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Courtroom 4: Nirma University v School of Excellence in Law, Chennai

3:55 PM: The proceeding has started. The Speaker 1 on behalf of the prosecution proceeds with his opening statement. The Judges seem convinced. So far, so good,

4:35PM: The counsel for defence has taken authority over the podium. The Defence Witness has been called.

4:59 PM: The counsels for the prosecution are raising concerns against the cross examining of the witnesses by the counsel for defence

5:22 PM: The counsel for the Prosecution raises concerns against the cross examining of the witnesses by the Counsels for Defence. However, the Defence’s argument that the questions were only in process of carrying the justice makes the Judges allow the same and the Defence goes on.

5:58: The counsel for the defendant is sealing the Proceeding with his Closing Statement. Looks like the Judges are keeping their verdict suspense as they decide to not show their disapproval on the arguments given by grilling the counsels

6:05 PM: This war doesn't seem to end. The Counsel for Prosecution doesn't give up and is back on the podium with his rebuttals. The Counsels from both the sides have finally rest their cases *mic drop*

6:11: The Judges are deliberating and taking their final verdict.

6:16: The Judges have submitted the verdict. And, it's finally a wrap up.

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Courtroom 5: Alliance University v NUALS, Kochi

3: 54 PM: The Judges have arrived and have taken their respective seats. The witnesses are asked to leave the courtroom after being briefed. All set to go!

3: 56 PM: The counsel for the prosecution starts off with the opening statements explaining the jurisdiction of the court

4: 03 PM The counsel for the Defence firstly explains the charges and then denies the same put on the accused. The Judges inquire about some of them. The counsel calmly replies. He is done with his opening statement.

4:06 PM: The counsel for the Prosecution starts the trial with the witness examination.

4:10 PM: Prosecution calls upon the second prosecution witness. There is a small disruption as the defence seeks the court’s permission to bring all the three accused to the Court Room

4:11 PM: PW2 is carefully examined by the prosecution after being remarked by the Judge in regards of the manner in which he is wearing the tie. He apologises to the court and the examination resumes. The prosecution is already sweating.

4:15 PM: The next witness is brought to the box. He identifies himself to the court and explains the cause of the death. The defence continuously objects the prosecution for asking LEADING questions. The Court asks the Counsel to reframe the same. The Counsel calmly does so and seeks permission to call the next witness.

4:29 PM: The prosecution exhibits the letters in the Court with the help of the witness as he wraps up his examination quickly. The Court asks the Counsel to wait as he carefully make note of the statements of witness.

4:32 PM: The prosecution has examined all the prosecution witnesses.

4: 36 PM: The counsel for the defence approaches the dais and explains the manner in which he is going to cross examine the prosecution witnesses. The judges ask him to go slow and question him if he is in a hurry.

4: 39 PM: The defence seeks the Court’s permission to bring PW1. The grilling begins. The voices have suddenly started rising and the heat can already be felt between the teams as the defence rigorously questions the witness. The prosecution questions the relevancy which is sustained

4:51 PM: The defence counsel uses emotions to question the witness. The witness confidently explains and sticks with his statement.

5:02 PM: The defence looks confident and thereafter bombs the witness with questions. The Court asks the counsel to pause for a minute as they note their observations. The witness after a fierce grilling examination is excused.

5:10 PM The next witness is called upon for cross-examination. The time is already up for the cross examination. The Counsel asks for an extension. He is rigorously trying to crank up the witness but the witness stays firm and answers calmly.

5:17 PM the witness is excused. the defence's time has run over for cross examination.

5:19 PM They look regressive as if they wanted more time but look to strategize how do they want to proceed further. The speaker 2 for the defence starts with his statement.

5:21 PM The defence calls upon DW1 for chief examination. The Court questions the counsel with respect to the provisions of Evidence Act. The counsel resumes with the examination. The witness explains the medical condition of the deceased. NO OBJECTION from the prosecution.

5:32 the Defence calls upon DW4. He identifies himself before the Court as the Counsel resumes with the chief examination asking the medical conditions of the deceased. The counsel further asks him to explain to the court the cause of death of the deceased. The expert calmly explains the technicalities of the human body and the heart.

5:37 PM DW2, the accused is called before the Court. The counsel asks him to narrate the facts. Objection finally raised by the prosecution. The Counsel fails to reframe it and proceeds to his next question as the prosecution again objects the examination to be Leading.

5:45 PM The defence calls upon the next accused. The defence needs to hurry up the chief examination as the time is already up. The prosecution uses this opportunity to slow them down and object the defence for asking leading questions. The accused is excused after explaining the incidents in her words.

5:50 PM the Defence is done with the chief examination as they fail to examine one of the accused. The prosecution calls upon the accused for cross

5:51 PM DW1 is put on stand. the prosecution is asked to repeat the question by the Court.

5:55 PM the DW argues about the arguments and explains how arguments are a part of healthy relationship as she confidently and calmly defends her statement as the final grilling begins. The court advices the counsel to use his arguments after he is done with the cross examination. The grilling continues but the witness firmly denies the allegations put forth by the prosecution counsel. The prosecution is taking its time to cross examine this witness.

6:07 PM the Prosecution is finally done with the first defence witness. The second DW is called before the witness. The judge questions the strategy of the prosecution. By the looks of it, they prosecution are in a bit of concern after that particular enquiry.

6:18 PM: The medical defence expert witness is questioned about the possibility of cause of death. He is asked to spell a complex term which he does after spelling it for 5 times. That was one big word to spell, the steno had some major difficulty there. The prosecution gets on the Doctor’s nerves and the doctor says he is only human and the prosecution pounces as if it was waiting for this opportunity. Meanwhile, the time is up as the defence takes a sigh of relief only to be lost by the extention of time granted by the Court.

6:42 PM The judges are back. The court master signals for the commencement of this final act.

6:46 PM The prosecution counsel begins his submission by pointing out how they ticked every requirement necessary to prove the guilt of the accused. He deals with the issues of validity of FIR, the circumstantial evidence and the autopsy report. The judge questions him on whether his submissions are amply strong to shift the guilt to the accused. However, he very gracefully clears all doubt.

6:50 PM The judges ask the counsel to wrap up the prosecution's submissions within 1 minute.

7: 00 PM: The defence has closed strongly.

 
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Courtroom 6: GLC. Thiruvanathapuram v. GNLU

4.02 PM: After the prosecution opening statement, the speaker ` on behalf of the defence has started with the opening statement. The judges seems very focussed.

4.05 pm- The speaker 1 on behalf of the prosecution has again taken the charge.

4.18 PM: The prosecution again takes to the podium. Another witness has been called upon for examination.

4.28 PM: The defence takes the charge to cross-examine the witness.

4.34 PM- The defence counsel takes the charge. The defence rests, after cross-examination of the witness.

4.39pm- the prosecution calls upon another witness. now, the interrogations seem audible thanks to the judges' interference. the witness proceeded to leave and is stopped by the judges.

4.44pm- The prosecution calls upon PW-6. the witnesses seems to forget that they are to be cross-examined by the defence as well. Again, the judges had to stop him to let the defence examine him as well.

4.51pm- Another defense witness has been called upon. the judges wants all the defense witnesses to be examined at once by the defense.

4.54pm- the defense calls upon DW3 to the witness box. She is the mother-in-law of the victim and her relationship with the victim-deceased is enquired into.

4.56pm- it's the time for another DW to be examined by the defense. he is asked his job, occupation, etc. the prosecution is busy polishing their knowledge regarding criminal procedure.

5.03pm- the speaker 2 of the prosecution has a really loud, strong voice. The witness seems little taken aback by the outright and strong attitude of the prosecution counsel. the defense counsel is seen smiling, when the prosecution asks as to what exactly is the timing of lunch. the witness seems to have a hard time answering the questions. the witness is the husband of the deceased. he smiles as he leaves the witness box.

 

5.09pm- Now is the time for the anotehr DW to get grilled at the hands of speaker 2 of prosecution. must say the voice and attitude of the prosecution counsel 2 has brought back the excitement and attention to the trial.

5.14pm- time for another DW to be examined. she is the mother-in-law of the victim. before the witness speaks her part, she is interrupted by the prosecution counsel. the witness tries to explain her version, but to no avail.

5.17 pm- another DW been called upon. he was asked the cause of death of the victim. the prosecution demands an answer from the witness to which he is not willing to abide by.

5.24 pm- the prosecution counsel takes to the podium and is delivering her closing statements. one of the judges interrupts her, and asks if motive is essential for circumstantial evidence to which she replied in affirmative. The counsel is calmly answering the questions of the judges. the counsel asks for the bare act of the Evidence act. the court master erred in giving the annexures to the counsel given by her co-counsel. the judges nod to the contentions of the counsel. after few interruptions on behalf of the judges, the prosecution is ask to rest.

 5:16 PM: Dw2 has just made things difficult for his own son by saying that on the day of incident, Nakul was there with him to accompany him on business lunch. The Prosecution quite forcefully reiterated this point before the Court!

5.33 PM: The defence counsel has now taken the charge to bring to the attention of the court his versions. The prosecution is listening him diligently.

 

5.39 PM: The judges now remind the parties that they both have erred by asking questions regarding the evidence law while cross-examining.

5.41PM: There is a pin-drop silence in the court room as the judges are busy making a note of the trial so far.

5.43 PM: the judges bid them all the best as the parties leave the court room after a gruelling session.

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Courtroom 7: NLUJAA, Assam v CNLU, Patna

4:00 PM: The court setting is thus in place, the teams on the side of the prosecution and the defendants are shuffling through their papers as tension covers their faces and seem prepared to put in their best. The teams introduce themselves to the judges. The teams shall now begin.

4:02 PM: The speaker rests her opening statement and the speaker 1 from the defendant’s side has taken to the podium putting forth his arguments

4:06- The judge asks both the speakers to mention the cause of the death, i.e. the detailed cause. The ambience is growing tense as the judges correct both of them to argue specifically and not beat around the bush.

4:07 PM: The speaker 1 from side of the prosecution has again taken to the podium to proceed with the chief examination.

4:15 PM: The counsel on behalf of the prosecution now calls in the PW2. The judges in the meanwhile are giving tips to the speaker on podium to deliver precisely. The PW2 has taken the oath and has identified herself as the mother of the deceased.

4:31 PM: The PW5 tells the court how aggressive in nature the accused is and is taking the proceedings further by telling how painful it was when the deceased has called PW5 crying that she was in an abusive relationship.

4:41- The counsel on behalf of the defendant on cross examining PW5 has taken the case to another turn as the PW5 tells that the deceased was in a condition to "handle the situation". However, the judge discourages this line of questioning.

4:46- The counsel summons PW1 to cross examine. The counsel raised the question on the loan taken by the PW1, which unfortunately, the PW1 satisfactorily deflected.

4:53- The Judges ask the counsel to reframe the questions as his questions are not "good".

4:54- The counsel summons the mother of the deceased for the cross examination. The entire courtroom is enveloped with tension as the truth hangs in air.

4:19 PM: The counsel calls in the mother in law of the deceased who tells that her main concern was that the deceased was not in constant touch with her own family. She further goes on to narrate the events that took place on the fateful day.

 

5:24- The counsel has now called in the medical practitioner who'll give information on the autopsy report and is also a family doctor of the deceased. He outright states that the report was "Flawed" and that the death was clearly because of the cardiac arrest. The judge inquires about cardiac arrest and why he claims that it was a case of cardiac arrest and not murder. The practitioner confidently is justifying the defendants' stand.

5:30-The practitioner leaves and the last witness is called in.

5:34- The counsel for the prosecution is on the podium and is cross examining the accused asking his history and intricate the details of their marriage.

5:36- The counsel is cross examining the accused vigorously, leaving no stone unturned. The accused sounds shaky now.

5:39- The accused stands apprehensive, trying to answer the counsel in as convincing way as possible. The judges are having a gala time seeing the accused getting grilled.

5:50 PM: The counsel inquires about the deceased's health who lists the number of diseases she was diagnosed with including type II diabetes. He is eventually "spared from the grill

6:18 PM: The counsel for the defendant rest their case and the judges give their feedback.

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Courtroom 8: Utkal University v NLIU Bhopal

4:00 PM: The Public Prosecutor opens the case and tries to plead before the Judge his case

4:28 PM: Chief examination of witnesses progress.

5:00 PM: It seems the defence counsel  has mistaken on a statement of the PW1. He asks the witness “You said that your daughter was ill after the marriage”. The witness in a very perplexed manner answered that she never said such a thing. The judges also ask the counsel  not to ask mislead. 

 05:20 PM: The PW 3 who is an investigating officer is called in the witness box. The Counsel trying to test the memory and authority of the Investigating Officer asks him the FIR number of the FIR that he filed regarding the case.The judges correct the counsel and tell him the question is not relevant and it is not possible to remember the FIR number. After another question the counsel is excused.

05:25 PM: PW 4, who is a medical expert is standing in the witness box. The counsel asks the witness how many post mortem have you performed? The witness replies very straight forwardly “Look, I don’t count how many post mortems I do every year!”.The case is getting interesting. The Counsel is trying to extract information regarding skin disease of the deceased from a doctor who performs post mortems. The examination of the PW 4 gets over and is excused.

05:30 PM: The next prosecution witness is called. Interestingly the judge is now assisting the Counsel on behalf of defence and is himself asking questions from the witness.  Seems the judge cannot stop himself from getting involved.

5:37 PM: The cross examination of the prosecution witness is over. And now comes another capsule of advice from the Judge: “Bully the witness the way you bully your friends to arrive at answers”. 

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All the courtrooms rest for the day. It indeed was a fantastic performance by all the teams. See you guys, tomorrow! Good Night.  Sleep well, it is going to be a long day tomorrow. 
 

 Day 2: The war goes on! - Preliminary Rounds-II and Semi Finals

9:45 AM: Good morning peeps! Here we are back with a bang. It’s going to be a long day today. The teams have reported in their respective courtooms, all geared up to make it happen today. Stay tuned for the real time updates- 2nd edition, 2nd day, double the fun! 

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 After the witness briefing, all the Courtrooms are about to go in session again.

Courtroom 1: CNLU, Patna v. Alliance University

10:12 AM: The judges (Shri Rupesh Singh & Mr Rajesh Kumar) have arrived and the prosecution has started with their opening statement.

10:17 AM: The chief examination of witness 1 starts. He is the father of the deceased and seems deeply hurt and aggrieved. As the witness starts with his testimony, the judges pause the witness on various accounts for the relevant facts to be duly noted by the stenographer.

10:21 AM: Things are heating up. As the prosecutions continues with his chief examination, he is stopped by the counsel for the defence but the objection raised by the defence as to invalidity of the question posed is not accepted by the judges.

10:23 AM: PW1 is being asked all questions which appear important to reveal the relevant facts of the case and as his chief examination continues the Judges intently listen and make sure all the important points are duly noted by the steno. The counsel continues to ask the witness about the events including that of the fatal day and it is revealed that Ashima was deeply aggrieved in her marriage.

10:31 AM: The air is growing thicker and there is a gravity on the face of each person present in the room. This trail is up for some serious revelations to follow.

10:33 AM: Finally the witness is allowed to step down from the box and PW2, Mrs. Chatterjee who is the mother of the deceased is called upon with the due permission of the judges.

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10:41 AM: Mr. Tyagi, who is the PW3, takes oath and continues with his testimony. He describes, as the questions of the prosecution demands, his signature, his association with the case, his experience after visiting the place of the residence and details of the evidence he collected there.

10:45 AM: The counsel, on the direction of the judges, asks the witness whether he had taken the given pictures himself or not. The judges smile as they guide the speaker as to how he should approach with the Chief Examination.

10:58 AM: The next witness, Miss Kaur steps on the witness box and the line of questioning of the prosecution lead the examination to reveal many important facts such as the personality of Ashima and her seriousness for her career, the short temperedness of Mr. Nakul Khanna, the accused and about Miss Ashima’s revelations to her about her marriage and relationship with her husband. 

10:41 AM: Mr. Tyagi, who is the PW3, takes oath and continues with his testimony. He describes, as the questions of the prosecution demands, his signature, his association with the case, his experience after visiting the place of the residence and details of the evidence he collected there.

10:45 AM: The counsel, on the direction of the judges, asks the witness whether he had taken the given pictures himself or not. The judges smile as they guide the speaker as to how he should approach with the Chief Examination.

10:58 AM: The next witness, Miss Kaur steps on the witness box and the line of questioning of the prosecution lead the examination to reveal many important facts such as the personality of Ashima and her seriousness for her career, the short temperedness of Mr. Nakul Khanna, the accused and about Miss Ashima’s revelations to her about her marriage and relationship with her husband

11:04 AM: The counsel calls the last witness for the prosecution and as he submits his conclusions of the examination, he is stopped by the judge for such submissions must be made in his closing statement.

11:05 AM: Mr. Tiwari, the employer of the accused, was asked to submit before the court, the things he found unusual in the accused’s behaviour on the fatal day, which included his early departure and also his smoking habits.

11:08 AM: The counsel for the prosecution rests and the speaker for the defence takes the podium and calls, with the permission of the judges the, the PW1, Mr. Chatterjee.

11:11 AM: Things are spicing up, the speaker for the defence very smartly twists and turns his questions in a way so as to bring out the important facts that would help him create doubts in the testimony of the witness and the alleged events of the fatal day.

11:14 AM: The counsel is paused on various accounts by the judges to note the important revelations of the cross.

11:18 AM: The grilling of the witness continues and it is established from the cross that neither was the father of the deceased in a position to help the accused financially, nor was he ever asked to help him in account of any demand for dowry explicitly or money in any other form.

11:43 AM: The witness, college friend of the deceased, is asked by the counsel of the relationship between the accused and the deceased before and after marriage. The game is turning around as the witness sticks to her testimony and it seems difficult for the defence to create doubts in their submissions.

11:51 AM: The witness steps down after the defence satisfactorily extracted all the necessary facts of the case.

11:54 AM: The judges also ask the witness a few questions to make the case more clear and on the other side, the prosecution seems satisfied with the answers of the witness.

12:00 PM: The witness steps down. The judges further advice the counsel to pose the first question during the cross as such so that it would decide the direction the defence is taking the court to.

12:03 PM: The next speaker from the counsel for the defence steps to the podium and the first DW is called on the stands for the chief examination. The examination of the witness, the father of the accused,  reveal that there was no objection in their part as to the marriage of their son and moreover, they had always treated Ashima like her daughter with love and care.

12:07 PM: The examination continues and the witness, as guided by the prosecution, reveals to the Court the nature and health of the deceased as well as the events of the fatal day

12:10 PM: The judges are keenly into the interrogation and duly guide the stenographer at various occasions, to take note of important points that are highlighted in the examination.

12:15 PM: The next witness, mother of the accused is called up to the witness box and the counsel for the defence very smartly poses questions to highlight the facts of the case that were concealed in the previous examination.

12:17 PM: The examination is paused as the speaker for the prosecution raises an objection as to the validity of the questions in view of a chief examination. The judges duly satisfy his query and the chief continues.

12:19 PM: The environment is tense as the interrogation continues for long and the prosecution is taking notes so as to not miss any important claims from the testimony of the witness.

12:31 PM- The examination continues and the witness further reveals in brief the events of the fatal day. The chief revealed that Nakul, the accused was very worried when he called and was clearly out of his senses due to the grave shock.

12:45 PM- The chief examination is over and the counsel for the defence rests.

12:46 PM- The counsel for the prosecution comes forth and called the first witness, Mr Nakul Khanna. The cross examination thus begins.

01:05 PM- As the prosecution tried to prove a fact, there was an inconsistency in the statement of the witness which was challenged by the counsel and the judges stated in this regard, that any statement that may be referred to later should be guided to be recorded by the stenographer so that such inconsistency doesn't come again.

01:12 PM- The prosecution leaves everyone amazed as he very smartly refuted a medical claim made by the defence and proved it logically consistent with the facts the prosecution seeks to prove!

01:19 PM: The prosecution, very smartly, posed a compound question to the witness questioning why she never helped Ashima when she was harassed but the witness clearly denied there being any such occasions at all.

01:21 PM: The events in the Court are becoming very interesting as the prosecution continues to grill the witnesses and takes out facts so important to the facts of the case.

01:24 PM: Finally the cross examination concludes and next is the turn for the prosecution and defence to submit before the Hon'ble court their closing arguments.

01:29 PM: The excitement is building up and the energy in the courtroom is felt as the participants give their best in the 7 minutes given for preparation. They know their closing statement, are of integral importance and it will be a huge factor determining their decision.

01:34 PM: The way the counsel is submitting his closing statement is worth a watch as he very calmly highlights the important ingredients and logically puts forward and hence proves his arguments. All of his contentions were supported duly with evidences of the case, the given facts, statement of the witnesses and other authorities

Courtroom 2: NUALS v. NIRMA University 

10:05 AM: The proceedings are yet to start. Meanwhile there is a change in the honourable Bench as Shri Siddhartha Jyoti Ray got caught up with something at the last moment. Shri Shyam would be taking his place now.

10:04 AM:: The Hon’ble Judges have arrived and the proceedings begin!

10:06 AM: The Public Prosecutor takes to the podium and begins with his opening speech, setting out the relevant facts before the Court.

10:09 AM: Counsel on behalf of the defence begins his opening speech, denying the charges of dowry death against his clients. He asserts that the charges have not been properly framed and there were irregularities in the procedure

10:13 AM : Speaker 2 for the prosecution begins the Chief Examination of Prosecution witnesses 1

10:14 AM: The first witness, the father of the deceased is called upon and placed on oath. He begins his deposition with saddened remembrance of his daughter.

10:17 AM- The chief examination of witness 1 starts. He is the father of the deceased and seems deeply hurt and aggrieved. As the witness starts with his testimony, the judges pause the witness on various accounts for the relevant facts to be duly noted by the stenographer.

10:28 AM : The PW2 describes the crime scene and exhibits are displayed before the court, drawing attention to the blood splattered stairs

10:30 AM: There is objection on the part of the defence that the counsel during his examination is putting up leading questions. The counsel thus stands warned.

10:33 AM: The judges put their head together mid examination. The counsel seems to have brought note worthy evidence before the Court.

10:36 AM : The doctor who examined the body of the deceased was deposed who threw light on the nature of the injuries the deceased succumbed to.

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10: 42 AM : The mother of the deceased, describes the shock, the anguish she went through when she found her daughter lying on her death bed. With this heartrending account of the event, the examination of prosecution witnesses end and the counsel on behalf of the defence takes the podium and seeks permission for cross examination.

10 : 47 AM : The PW1 and the defence counsel get into an altercation due to miscommunication of questions.

10: 48 AM : He points out the court that PW1 is not even capable of remembering important dates. Questions were put about her marriage. There is again an altercation as the father of the deceased is aggrieved by the inferences pointed out before the court by the counsel.

10:54 AM : The PW1 contradicts his own statement that he had made during the Chief examination to the benefit of the Crossing counsel.

11: 02 AM : The Cross examination seems to be shaking the testimony of the investigating officer as a lot of lacunas in the procedure of investigation were pointed out, the witness seems intimidated towards the end of the deposition. The Hon’ble Judges help out the confused witness in understanding the question put to him. It has been a long time for him on the stand.

11:29 AM : The cross examination ends. Speaker 2 for the defence seeks permission to examine defence witnesses.

11:36 AM : The prosecution objects that they are unable to follow the questions and the judges ask the counsel to be loud and clear. Objection is also raised by the prosecution that the defence is putting suggestive questions. The counsel for prosecution approaches the bench siting the evidence act in support of his assertion that such procedure of questioning during chief examination is irregular and contrary to provisions.

11: 43 AM : The Hon’ble bench addresses the grievances of the prosecution and Judges give their precious time to answer the questions and shed light on the legitimacy of the procedure being followed.

11:46 AM : The witness waits in the stand while the opposing counsels argue before the court on the point of evidence examination.

11: 47 AM : The patience and humility of the Hon'ble Bench has to be appreciated at this point.

11: 50 AM : Questions put by the examining counsel is relentlessly followed by objections by the speaker 1 for prosecution and the bench lauds his approach.

11:56 AM : The father in law of the deceased is being examined. Again there is a conflict regarding the term “suggestion” As another objection is raised. The bench overrules the objection.

12:02 PM : Yet another objection is raised by the prosecutor and the opposing counsel glances at his watch, he doesn’t look very happy. The prosecutor sets out to explain provisions of the procedural law to the bench in support of his objection. He is directed by the Court that such points that he is raising should be a part of his argument.

12:06 PM : The discussion in the court room is back to the point of “suggestion”

12:22 PM : Cross examination of DWs begin

12:34 PM: It has been a long time for the witness on the stand. Lots of questions have been put. Finally objection of badgering is raised when the witness says “he is still in shock” and the counsel responds with a sarcastic retort. Objection sustained. 

12:46 PM: The Doctor’s cross examination has begun. He seems confident and assertively puts forward his opinion. The counsel argues that he is not a medical expert in cardiology and his testimony is not reliable and thus the line of his questions. He is well aware that the doctor is not the one who conducted the autopsy, he says in reply to the objection raised by the defence. The objection was overruled.

12:51 PM : The judges direct the prosecution to wind up the cross examination of the next DWs within 5 mins.

01:00 PM:  The prosecution rests. The closing statements from both sides are to be heard.

01:14 PM : The defence puts forth its closing argument. He takes the Court through the materials on record briefly , counters assertions made by the prosecution. He questions the reliability of the witness examined by the prosecution.

01:22 PM: It is pleaded by the defence that the prosecution has failed to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the incident was in fact a very unfortunate accident. He pleads that his clients be absolved of the charges.

01:24 PM: The prosecution puts forth its prayer.

01: 25 PM: The Court is adjourned until verdict.

Courtroom 3: Law College Durgapur v. Bengal Law College

9:34 AM: The Judges have arrived in the Court and the teams are gearing up for their second prelims.

9:36 AM: The first speaker for the prosecution is giving his opening statement and briefing the Court with the facts of the case

9:39 AM: The first speaker for the Defence is now stating her opening statement

9:42 AM: The chief examination has started with PW1. He is lamenting about the class difference between them and his daughter’s family and how he felt inferior complexity because of her daughter’s decision of marrying Nakul.

9:59 AM: PW 4 is now narrating the injuries of the deceased in all his medical mumbo-jumbo glory. Must have been a painful death!

10:06AM :PW 6 is narrating how her deceased best friend suffered at the hands of her in-laws and husband. Her story sounds convincing, looks like the prosecution has briefed her very thoroughly

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10:11 AM: The second speaker on behalf of the defence has now taken up the podium and the cross-examination of PW1 is underway. He seems to be trapped in his narration of how he presumed and imagined his daughter is dead after seeing her and did not consult a doctor immediately. This sparks things up between the prosecution and defense which the Court sorts out judiciously.

10:19 AM :PW2 has answered in assertion to the defence’s question of whether their daughter’s in-law demanded any money at the time of marriage

10:21 AM: PW3 has once again gone in a flash without much cross-examination done by defence. It seems the investigating officer is not much of an important witness for the defence.

10:25 AM: PW4 is iterating the point that he is a medical practitioner and not an autopsy expert to which the Court rebukes the Defence to stop wasting the time of the Court

10:27AM: A play of words seems to have gone underway between the PW5 and defense after the Speaker asked her whether she was “intimate” with Ashima to which she replies promptly she was very “close” to Ashima, not “intimate”.

10:31AM: The Judges are enlightening the defence to be aware during the Chief examination of prosecution witness as they had missed some vital points of questions during the cross examination

10:34AM: The judges have walked out of the Court room due to failure of defence counsel to submit application under Sec 315 for Examination of the Defence Witness. Judges have instructed to give closing statement directly without examination of defense witnesses

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10:46AM: The camaraderie between the two teams is becoming evident as the prosecution is helping the defence with writing immediate application for examination of Dws. The saying that: Harsh times brings sometimes brings out the best in people is being proved in this Court room

10:56AM : The judges have once again arrived at the Court room and the application under Sec 315 has been submitted and subsequently approved by the Hon’ble judges on the lines of justice

10:58AM: Finally, the chief examination of DW1 has started. The witness is stating how he fell in love with her because of her beauty, despite her belonging from an inferior class of family

 11:10AM : DW2’s statement has been proven contradictory in nature by the prosecution and the witness seems to agree with Counsel’s view

11:12 AM: The prosecution is playing with the words spoken by DW3 in her cross examination. The question remains- Friends or Friendly terms??

11:21AM: The prosecution is trying to point some relevant facts to the Judges with the help of various photographs

11:32AM: The prosecution is now giving their closing statement. Upon the Court’s query to substantiate the contention with any case, the speaker gets a bit flabbergasted and states that he is aware of cases but cannot recall any at this point of time.

11:37AM The Court is adjourned after the judges looks a bit unsatisfied with the proceedings.

 

Courtoom 4: Chotanagpur Law College v Saveetha School of Law, Chennai

10:21 AM: The teams are all prepared to fight for a slot in the Semi Finals. Everyone is waiting for the Judges to arrive.

10:42 AM: The Judges are finally here and have asked the prosecution to proceed.

10:43 AM: The counsel for the prosecution approaches the Dias and narrates the facts of the case

10:46 AM: The counsel for the defence starts strongly with his bold voice. That is some confident start.

11:00 AM: The counsel himself excuses the witness as the judges wonder how could he do so. There were no remarks but the judge surely noticed. PW6 is called by the prosecution.

11:02 AM The Counsel again excuses the witness. This time there is no reaction from any of the judges. PW3 is here for the chief examination and is asked to identify himself before the Court.

11:12 AM: The prosecution calls the last witness. The witness narrates the story and identifies the letters. The Court asks the counsel whether he wants to get the letters exhibited to which he affirms. The prosecution is done with its chief examination

11:17 AM: The defence seeks the court's permission to begin the cross examination. The grilling session begins. The counsel confidently and boldly cross questions PW1.

11:23 AM The counsel asks the birthday of the deceased from the father. he can't seem to remember it and stays mum. The defence is going very smoothly with the cross examination.

11:25 AM PW2 is called before the court for cross examination. The Counsel calmly questions to the point and is already done with this witness as the Sub Inspector is called into the stand.

11:30 AM The Sub Inspector then is questioned about the items collected by the Police. The witness is directed to answer as asked by the Counsel as the Judge says "The Court needs to know"

11:35 AM: The medical expert is now being cross examined by the defence

11:44 AM: Speaker 2 for the Defence approaches the bench with an application seeking permission for the accused to be examined. The Judges nod in agreement as the first accused is called for chief examination.

11:55 AM: The defence calls upon the next defence witness for chief examination. The accused explains allegations related to dowry. She calmly responds to the allegations that have been put forth by the prosecution earlier.

12:10 PM: The prosecution stumbles after the defence raises objection of not asking any question and asserting statements. The court overrules the objection and the Counsel is directed to continue with the cross examination of the first accused.

12:14 PM: DW1 has been cross examined and the Prosecution calls for the second accused to come into the stand.

12:17 PM: The next witness is called for cross examination. Meanwhile, the Counsel is advised by the Judges to ask specific questions in his cross and not just assert statements. He sharply listens to their words of wisdom and quickly deals with DW4.

12:20 PM: The next witness is called into the stand. The prosecution carefully cross examines this witness as the last defence witness is called before the Court for cross examination.

12:24 PM: The medical expert is done away with quickly. The prosecution prepares itself for the closing statements.

12:27 PM: The counsel for the Prosecution begins with his submissions. The Court asks whether Sec. 34 and 120B of IPC can be read in isolation. The prosecution takes his time to explain to the Court and then resumes with his submissions.

12:34 PM: The time is already up for the defence and is given the permission to read his prayers before the Court.

12:35 PM: The counsel for the defence begins with his closing statement and pleads that the prosecution has failed to establish a case beyond reasonable doubt. The Judges ask whether the onus fully lies on the prosecution. The defence cites the provisions from the Evidence Act as well as other cases.

12:42 PM: There are no rebuttals from the teams. Their lordships are satisfied with the proceedings. The court is adjourned.

Courtroom 5: Llyod College v. NLUJAA, Assam

10:05 AM- The judges are here! The trial is to begin any minute. 

10:07 AM : The excellences are enquiring about the details of the teams from the court clerks. They are busy going through the memorandums of the teams. Both the teams are keenly observing while doing their last minute preperations And, the trial begins now! 

10:11 AM : The speaker 1 for Prosecution takes the podium. He has started with the facts of the case. The mannerisms of the defense is quite chilled out and relaxed. The prosecution rests.

10.14 AM : It’s time for the Defense Speaker 1 to take on the podium. The judges are keen listeners. The defense speaker is very confident in her arguments, she concludes her statement and the defense rests.

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10:18 AM : The counsel for prosecution asks for the permission of the court for examination of the witnesses, to which the court obliged. PW 1 takes on the witness box and proceeds with the oath-taking. He identifies himself as the father of the deceased. The defense objects on the  question of dowry. The judges obliged to that. The judge reprimanded the prosecution to go by the facts, and he is not allowed to ask such questions. The defense is smiling at the version of the witness. The confidence of the defense looks sky-high, to say the least in the beginning.

10.24 AM : One of the excellencies tries to light up the moment. PW 2 has been called upon. 10:28 AM : Another witness has been called upon for examination. He is immediately asked to verify the writing of the deceased by showing her suicide letter. The defense raises an objection as the prosecution again asks the same question for which he was reprimanded earlier while examining another witness. This would perhaps acts as a set-back for the confidence of prosecution.

10.32 AM : Another witness being called upon. The prosecution counsel looks little less confident now for obvious reasons.
 
10.33 AM : PW5 now comes to the witness box. The prosecution started by asking basic questions. The defense again tries to raise an objection. Because of this, the judges are now discussing whether to allow the objection or not. The witness seems nervous and smiled a bit. The judges are asking as to what the questions of the defense version are for the doctor. After a little waiting and discussion, the prosecution is allowed to proceed. The prosecution looks now more nervous and less confident in front of the defense.
 
10.39 AM : Another witness is being called upon. The prosecution proceeds to show the FIR to the witness to verify it, but was stopped by the judges. The judges made the teams aware that the question on which the defense raises an objection would be allowed as a question to argue after the examination is over, using their discretionary power. There is no stopping on the objections of the defense. The witness got confused in answering the very basic questions. The judges are now put a question to the witness, the witness has gone blank.  Must say, one of the Hon'ble judge  lightens up the mood of the courtroom. 
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10.47 AM : The defense again raises an objection when the prosecution asks for the permission to re-examine one of the prosecution witnesses. The co-agent for the prosecution obliges to that. The judges has asked for some time to discuss. The prosecution looks nervous. The judges reiterated the fact that the cross-examination of the same witness would not happen. The judges demands an explanation from the defense as to why the same witness be not called upon for re-examination.
 
 
10:50 AM: The judges want the prosecution to first disclose the questions that are supposed to be asked to the witness for re-examination. The judges are not an easy party to allow or disallow this objection of the witness. They are demanding substantial reasons to either deny or allow it.
 
10:51 AM: The judges have asked the court clerks to stop the time, as he clearly wants exact reasons for the objection to be overruled or allowed. The prosecution doesn’t seem to know the answer, but the defense seems to be ready with an answer. The judges asks the defense to write their answer in a piece of paper There is an interesting turn up of events going on in between the trial.
 
11.06 AM : The prosecution comes up with law as a weapon for their demand for the same witness be examined again. The judges allow the demand of the prosecution, subject to the objection of the defense. PW1 has been called upon again. the judges reiterated the fact to the witness that he has been recalled upon on the request of the prosecution. The co-agent for prosecution takes the charge. The prosecution asks the details of the incident of 18 Nov, 2016. The witness erred as he said that on that day, he lost his daughter. The judges reprimanded him. He corrected himself. There are smiles on the faces of the people in the court room as the witness puts forward his version. After few questions on part of the judges, the witness is asked to rest.
 
11.14 AM : After an interesting turn-up, now is the time for the ever-confident defense to take the charge. The defense reminded the mistake done by the PW1 in stating the wrong fact that he lost his daughter on 18 Nov, 2016. The prosecution tries to cover up the blunder made by the witness.
 
11:17 AM : PW1 has been called upon again for cross-examination. The defense reprimanded him in a strong voice to be sure about what he is to say, and not change his versions every now and then. The judges ordered the defense to not give any advises to the witness. The defense apologises. The defense asks the witness as to why he didn’t take education loan. The prosecution objects to the question as being unnecessary. The judges too reprimanded him and to improvise the questions and then ask, and not to bother about the objections
 

11:22 AM : PW1 is going through a hell lot of examinations. There is a dispute as the prosecution raises an objection that the defense is trying to confuse the witness, to which judge jokingly pointed out the fact that is what she is allowed to do. The defense is pressing hard on knowing the full form of LRCC and the degree deceased got from the witness. Obviously, the prosecution objected to this. The defense is confident in her tricky questions to get the witness confused. The defense brings to the notice of the court that there is a big gap between the memorandum of the prosecution and the version of the witness. The prosecution requests to check the details first to check the validity.

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11:30 AM : The court is slowly getting filled up, thanks to the interesting turn-up of events every now and then. The PW1 is finally asked to leave. The defense request the court to see to the difference between the prosecution’s memorandum and witness’ version to which the judges reprimanded that it’s

11.34 AM : It’s time for the PW2 to be cross-examined. The prosecution looks much alarmed than before. The court reprimanded the defense to not cut in between the witness is speaking. The witness looks bewildered. The defense looks really satisfied and the witness looks confused at the same time.

11:38 AM : The court suggested the defense to follow the procedure of cross-examination, as she was giving suggestions when the witness left and the court ordered her against this. PW 3 is on the witness box. The defense has successfully scared the witness, and he is also successfully erring in her versions, much to the disappointment of the prosecution. The court is all smiles, yet again.

11:43 AM : The defense proceeded to show the witness the FIR. The court stopped her from arguing with the witness. According to the defense, the PW 3 must have known the essentials of murder, before filing an FIR. The court advises her that it’s not mandatory for him to know the essentials before filing an FIR. The defense is dwelling into small and basic facts, that is putting the witnesses in a not so comfortable position.

11:49 AM : The defense asks for the permission to show PW3 the photographs on computer for verification. The court obliged. It’s literally looking like a test is taking place and the defense is the teacher. The witness is clearly stumped by the way and questions of the cross-examination being carried out by the defense. The defense suggests the witness that he has been not able to identify the correct bruises of the decease, and asks for his credibility. The defense pleads an extension to which the court happily obliges. The difference between a contrusion and a bruise is asked, and clearly the witness has no answer. The defense is trapping the witness in basic things. The defense told the witness that he hasn’t answered any of the questions, to which the court said he has, but wrong. This brings laughter in the court hall. It’s getting more interesting!

11:58 AM : PW 4 being called upon, and again the defense tries to trap him in basic facts. The prosecution raises an objection by stating that it’s a compound question. The defense apologises to the court. The objection is again raised by the prosecution that the defense counsel is repeating her questions to confuse the witness. The court is all smiles once again, when the full form of PPO is asked to the witness. The court room is almost full with enthusiastic people.
 
12:04 AM : Cross-examination of PW 4 is going on. The court again reprimanded the defense counsel not to interrupt the witness. The court once again reminded that his feelings cannot be answered in a yes or a no, when the defense persuaded the witness to answer in a yes or a no to the question that whether the injury was brutal or not.
 
12:09 PM : There is a dispute with regards to Sec. 161 of CrPC. The court orders the defense to read the section to know the real law with respect to the statements recorded under the said section. The objection raised by the prosecution stands dismissed with respect to the same.
 
12:15 PM : The court reminded the defense to not say anything else if she is to cross-examine the witness as time is running out. The witness is confused in the question, “How did you see the time?” The cross-examinations were truly a gruelling and interesting roller-coaster ride!
 
12:27 PM : The excellencies are not willing to proceed without a proper procedural law being used to support the request of calling the accused as a witness. Hon’ble judge Shri Pandey Neeraj Rai suggests them to act and respond like lawyers. He moved out of the court. The defense side is in a state of worry and trying hard to come up with a valid law to support their request. Let’s see how it unfolds! Fingers crossed! 
 
12:32 PM : Hon’ble Judge, Shri Pandey Neeraj Rai makes an entry and the defense provides an answer. The court is clearly not satisfied. The court again asks for the answer, but the defense hasn’t got any. The court says that since the prosecution is not objecting, the calling of accused as witness is taken as request and is allowed. 
 
12:36 PM : DW1 makes an entry as the accused. The witness is asked about his relationships with his wife and in-laws. Next, DW2 being called upon. When the defense states to the court the qualifications and status of DW2, the court advised her from against this, and said that the court is not a witness.
 
12:43 PM : DW3 being called upon. The court reprimanded the defense to not ask them to note things and contribute in saving time. The defense looks a bit nervous.
 
12:44 PM : Thanks to suggestions of the Court, the examinations are not becoming tedious and lengthy, this time around.
12:49 PM : There is a dispute regarding the question of mental state of the deceased. The prosecution to the question regarding the condition of the lungs of the deceased. The defense stated against putting up this question. The witness got confused between lungs and liver!
 
12:54 PM : The defense speaker 1 is getting confused and nervous more and more. The prosecution wants to verify the writing of DW3. The court allowed a document of the witness for refreshing his memory, as requested by the defence counsel. The court is doubtful regarding the veracity of the document. After verifying, the court disallowed the document. The prosecution contends that the defense is trying to deviate the court.
 
12:59 PM : The defense tries to prove that the deceased was an alocoholic.
 
01:00 PM: DW4 being called upon. He claims to be the soul brother of the mother-in-law of deceased. The examination is done! The defense tries to put a summed-up version of the examination, to which the court advises her against doing so.
 
01:04 PM: Now is the turn of the prosecution to cross-examination the defence witnesses. DW1 being called upon. The witness looks super confident! This time, the prosecution looks confident too. The defense raises an objection that the prosecution is trying to intimidate the witness by raising his voice. The DW1 seems not an easy prey. The next witness is being called upon.
01:10 PM: One of the judges move out of the court room. The trial is halted for some moments.
 
01:12 PM: The cross-examination restarted with DW2. The court asks the reason when the prosecution went up near the witness. The prosecution claimed that’s because the defense is trying to influence the witness. He is being called upon to the podium. This looks like a real court room drama!
 
01:16 PM : The court looks satisfied with the contention of the prosecution that the witness hasn’t got nay prescription regarding the disease the deceased was suffering from, as claimed by the defense.
01:19 PM : DW3 being called upon. When the prosecution uses ‘he’ with DW3, the defense objected to this very fact as DW3 is the mother-in-law of the deceased. The court is full of laughter !
01:23 PM : DW 4 being called upon. He looks bit irritated because of the very fact that he has to reiterate what he has already said in the court. He leaves with a smile!
 
01:26 PM : Time for DW5 being cross-examined. The prosecution asks the witness to spell out the name of the medicine he had prescribed to the deceased. The medical compositions of the medicine are also asked. This time, the prosecution is too playing along with reliance to the very basic and minute details!
 
01:28 PM : DW5 clearly looks bewildered with such absurd questions being asked, but he being a doctor should be knowing all these. The witness again erred in answering one of the questions related to medicine.
01:33 PM : The court again reprimanded the prosecution not to ask them to note the points down, as they are already doing so. After a plethora of medicinal questions, the witness is asked to leave.
01:35 PM : The teams are given 7minutes each to conclude their respective statements.
Chat conversation end
 
Courtroom 6:  School of Excellence in Law, Chennai v. Utkal University

10:03 AM: The teams are all prepared for todays session. The dais of the Hon’ble judges is all set! The judges will be here any minute.

10:18 AM: The Hon’ble Judges have arrived in the Court room. The Hon’ble Judges on dais are Mr. Manoj Tandon and Mr Anshuman Kumar.

And the trial begins! 

10:20 AM: The cousnel for the Prosecution presents his case. The judges seem very liberal with respect to the time limit, easily granting extension of time to all the speakers.

10:27 AM: The Counsel for the prosecution calls the first witness in the Court.

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10:29 AM: And here comes the first warning from the Judge. The Counsel for the Prosecution is asking leading questions. The judges told all the counsels from both the side that they can’t ask leading questions to the witnesses. 

10:40 AM: The counsel for the prosecution continues with the chief examination of the witnesses.

10:44 AM: The Counsel for the prosecution after examining the witnesses in a stern manner, now rests his case. The judges seem very composed but stoic. Whether they are satisfied with the contentions or not, is another mystrey to solve. 

10:45 AM: The Counsel for the defence takes over the podium to proceed with cross examination of the prosecution witnesses.  

10:46 AM: Points of clarification come forth from the Hon’ble Judge. Seems the Counsel for the defence lost the track and is asking the witnesses questions which were not even asked in the chief examination. “You are making the case of your opponent stronger by asking such question”, the judge tells the counsel.

10:51 AM: Judges appear to be bugged from the questions and arguments of the Counsel for the defence, and ask him to just record the statements of the witnesses and present the arguments later.

10:55AM: The counsel for the defence, who is on podium, stands up and starts providing argument on behalf of the latter. The opponents contend and the judges provide clarification that it is against the rules of the Court and shall not be repeated. 

11:05 AM: The Courtroom has now come in full action. The Counsels are moving forward with the recording the statements and explaining them to the judges, the opponents are raising objections, the judges seeking clarification from the counsels as well as providing the counsels with assistance.

11:09 AM: The judges charge the counsel for defence for the second time that they are helping the case of the prosecution. The counsels for defence have been told by the Judge that this may lead to deduction of marks. 

11:13 AM: Second speaker on behalf of defence has now occupied the podium. The main accused, defence witness 1, is called in the witness box. Within two minutes of chief examination of the witness by the defence counsel, the counsel for the prosecution objects “It’s a leading question my lord!”. The objection is sustained. 

11:19 AM: The counsel on behalf of defence, proceeding with the chief examination and continuous objections being raised from the side of the prosecution and grilling by the judges, very dexterously examines the defence witnesses and woos the judges.

11:30 AM: Some technical talks are being going on between the expert witness of defence, who is a doctor who examined the post mortem report of deceased prepped by another doctor. The counsel for defence is getting under pressure.

The court asks on a legal point “Why are you taking the opinion of an expert with respect to post mortem report which has been prepared by another expert. Are the judges compelled under the law to admit such opinion?”. The Counsel for defence seems perplexed. But thankfully her brother counsel comes to the rescue and passes a chit with the answer.

11:40 AM: The Counsel for defence rests her case after completing the examination in chief of defence witnesses.

11:45 AM The Counsel starts with the cross examination of the defence witnesses. The defence witness 1 is in the witness box. The counsel asks the witness some personal questions. “How many cigarettes do you smoke? Do you drink alcohol? Is it true that alcohol bottles lie beside your bedside?” The witness turns hostile over these questions.

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11:52 AM The next defence witness is called in the witness box. The counsel on behalf of defence appears to be very proficient in examining the witnesses and prodding them.

11:58 AM: The next witness is called upon. Eyes of everyone present in the court room are moving from the witness to the counsel, from the counsel to the witness. The judges are also intrigued with the questions that are being asked to the witness and how conveniently the counsel for prosecution is proving his point. The court room drama is becoming interesting every minute. The learned counsel on behalf of the prosecution has left everyone mute. No questions are being asked either from the side of the prosecution or from the judge.

12:05 PM: The next witness is called in the witness box. He is a practicing doctor. The defence counsel asks “What is the full form of MBBS?” “Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery” the witness answers. “how long have been practicing as a doctor?” The Counsel says I’m trying to judge you as a doctor. The witness replies in a hostile manner “then I would too judge your practice as a lawyer”. The judges chuckle on the reply of the witness. Witty witness! 

12:13 PM The next witness is called in the court. All the defence witnesses are leaving the court rooms with agitation which is due to the continuous grilling of the prosecution counsel.

12:16 PM The counsel for defence has completed the cross examination of all the prosecution witnesses. The judges and the teams are talking amongst them. Now is the time for closing arguments.

12:22 PM After submitting the arguments, stating the laws and facts of the case, the counsel on behalf of prosecution, an excellent speaker, draws link between the law and facts and prays before the court that the charges are proved beyond doubt and thus, the accused be held guilty of charges.

Meanwhile, the counsel on behalf of defence gets admonished for raising objection for the fifth time in a row, objecting regarding extension of time in favour of the defence counsel. The judge, in a grim tone, tells the defence counsel that the judges can extend the time by even an hour if they want.

Defence counsels gets agitated as well as disappointed.

12:40 PM The counsel for the prosecution submitted his arguments, after gaining extension of time from the court, now rests his case. 

12:44 PM : Thanks to suggestions of the Court, the examinations are not becoming tedious and lengthy, this time around.
 
12:49 PM : There is a dispute regarding the question of mental state of the deceased. The prosecution to the question regarding the condition of the lungs of the deceased. The defense stated against putting up this question. The witness got confused between lungs and liver!
 
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12:54 PM : The defense speaker 1 is getting confused and nervous more and more. The prosecution wants to verify the writing of DW3. The court allowed a document of the witness for refreshing his memory, as requested by the defence counsel. The court is doubtful regarding the veracity of the document. After verifying, the court disallowed the document. The prosecution contends that the defense is trying to deviate the court.
 
12:59 PM : The defense tries to prove that the deceased was an alcoholic. 
 
01:00 PM: DW4 being called upon. He claims to be the soul brother of the mother-in-law of deceased. The examination is done! The defense tries to put a summed-up version of the examination, to which the court advises her against doing so.

Courtroom 7: NLIU Bhopal v. GLC, Thiruvanthapuram

10:05 AM- The teams are having last minute discussions and are restlessly waiting for the judges to arrive and the trial to begin. 

10:07 AM: The Hon'ble Judges are finally here! The trial to beigin shortly. 

10:09 AM: The trial has begun. The counsel for the prosecution has taken the podium to deliver his opening statement and smoothly finishes his opening statement in a record 2 minutes.

10:10 AM: The counsel for defense matches up to his opponent and gives his opening statement.
 
10:13 AM: The PW 1 has been called and identifies himself as the deceased's father. The father presses charges against the deceased's marital family, saying that the family changed his happy daughter into a morose person.
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10:18 AM: The father breaks down in the Court, remembering the deceased- his only child.

10:25 AM: The PW 2 has been called and identifies herself as the Examination Officer. Remembering the fateful night when the deceased was found, she says that the family of the deceased had refused to cooperate with the examining officer.
 
10:30 AM: The cross examiner for the defense has taken authority of the podium and requests the DW 1 to be brought to the box. 
 
10:41 AM: The Cross Examiner is very demanding andf staright forward in her approach to cross examine the DW 1. She cuts him in middle, when asking him about the questions about dowry, making a point.
 
10:48 AM: The Hon'ble Judge makes a signal to the Stenographer stressing upon to note down the fact that "there was a pool of blood" when the medical examiner entered the house of the deceased.
 
10:55 AM:The Cross Examiner for the Defense now calls the PW5 and asks whether the strained relationship between the deceased and her husband were strained, The Prosecution is raising objections against it.
 
11:05 AM: The husband of the deceased is here for interrogation. He is trying to defend himself, however the Judges are not buying it so easily.
 
11:18 AM: The witness identifies itself as the medical practitioner. The medical practitioner stresses on the fact that the deceased was a patient of depression, indirectly suggesting that it could be a reason for her death.
 
11:30 AM: The judges stress on the following fact dicate the following to the Stenographer "The deceased family's did not want the deceased to be married to the Khanna family initially. 
 
12:01 PM: The Khannas's neighbour is now in the court room box. The counsel for Prosecution is trying to squeeze something out of her, in favor of him, however all seems to be going in vain.
 
12:03 PM: The Counsel for Prosecution is now giving his closing statement on which he lays all the burden on the Deceased's husband's family, And that, it was only for the demand of dowry and other greeds, the Deceased was murdered. He concludes by stating all the facts which go in the favor of the prosecution.
 
12:07 PM: However, the Judges are not convinced and ask queries. Unfazed by the questions, the Counsel answers them with full conviction.
 
12:15 PM: The Counsel for Defense has taken control over the podium now, is here to give her Closing Statement, Citing some cases, and relying on the Doctor's statement and various other sources which put the balance of justice on their favour, rests her case.
 
12:30: After much pondering andf deliberation, the Judges have arrived on their final verdict. 
 
12:32 PM: And. it's a warap up in CR 7! 

Courtroom 8: GNLU, Gandhinagar v. School of Law, Christ University  

10:05 AM- The participants sit in anticipation, shuffling their papers for the judges to arrive.

10:07 AM- The judges are finally here. Both the sides are set to steal the show. Let's see what comes in next!
 
10:08 AM- The counsel on behalf of the Prosecution has taken over the podium and is delivering the opening statement after the due permission of the  Hon'ble bench.

10:11 AM- The  first speaker for the defense has taken over the podium and is briefing the facts from their "face."

10:14 AM-  The counsel on behalf of the prosecution has now summoned the Prosecution witness who after taking the oath and has identified himself as the father of the deceased.

10:15- The PW1 throws light on the depressed state of his daughter. Indeed, it's pitiful!
 
10:17 AM- THE PW1 has left the court room and the counsel has now called in the PW2 who identifies herself as the mother of the deceased.
 
10:19 AM- PW2 narrates how tortured she was and how the dreadful was the day of murder.
 
10:20 AM-The PW2 leaves and PW3 is called in.
 
10:21 AM- PW3 identifies himself as the inspecting officer and is now narrating the turn of events of the fateful day. PW3 leaves.
 
10:23- PW4 is called in who identifies himself as the medical officer. He is telling the court how heart wrenching was the condition of the deceased's body. He outright states that it is a case of murder.
 
10:25 AM- The counsel has called in PW5- a friend of the deceased. PW5 is having a tough time narrating her experience because of the pain she is going through- the pain of losing a close friend. She reveals the narrative of the deceased of being harrassed for dowry by her in-laws. 
 
10:28 AM- PW6 is now here and nervously gives the basic details to the court.
 
10:30 AM- The counsel on behalf of the defendant has taken over the podium and is now cross examining the father of the deceased. The PW sounds shaky. He is being grilled as his statements turn against him.
 
10:33 AM- The PW1 leaves the witness box and the court allows to call for PW2. 
 
10:34 AM- The defendant establishes a discrepancy as the mother and father draw a difference in the age of the deceased. The case has taken an interesting turn as the mother and father are themselves unsure about the facts.
 
10:37 AM- PW3 is called in. The 'grilling' has begun! 
 
10:47 AM- The Friend is having a tough time giving the statements as the defendant miss no opportunity to make not of the intricacies turning the details against the prosecution.
 
10:53 AM- The counsel on behalf of the defendant has started the chief examination of the witness.
 
10:54 AM-The court room drama continues as the second witness is called in. 
 
10:58 AM- The third witness who identifies herself as the mother in law of the deceased is called in and she describes her rosy relationship with the deceased.
 
11:00 AMThe fourth witness takes the oath identifying herself as the medical practioner
 
11:02 AM- The practitioner states that the reason for the death was mere cardiac arrest and not murder. Moreover, she reveals that the deceased was a patient of diabetes, reason why she was more prone to the same.
 
11:04 AM- The last witness is here.
 
11:06 AM- The last witness leaves and the counsel for the prosecution has taken over the podium to cross examine the accused.
 
11:08 AM- The pain of losing a wife can be seen dripping from the face of the accused.
 
11:11 AM- The accused is in tears before the court while giving his statement. 
 
11:12 AM- However, the tears of the accused are failing to stir the emotions of the cross examiner. The examiner is grilling the accused like anything.
 
11:14 AM- The accused leaves the court room.
 
11:15- The father in law of the deceased is called in.
 
11:16 AM-The counsel for the prosecution objects to the intimidation by the defendants to the witness.
 
11:17 AM-The counsel on behalf of the defendant raises objection to the cross examination but the same is over ruled by the judges.
 
11:19 AM- Defense witness 3 is called in.
 
11:21 AM- The witness is answering all the questions confidently, leaving no space for any doubts as such.
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11:22 AM- The medical practitioner is called in and he describes his relationship with the family as that of a friendly one.
 
11:24 AM-The cross examiner is leaving no stone unturned in examining the witness. 
 
11:28 AM- The last witness is called in and she is spared by answering just 2 questions.
 
11:37 AM-The co-counsel for the prosecution is now proceeding with his closing statement.
 
11:41 AM- The co- counsel on behalf of the defendant has taken over the podium and is delivering his closing statement.
 
11:49- The defendants plead innocence of the accused and rest their case.
 
11:53 AM- With this, the preliminary round two comes to an end. The results are awaited.
 
2:45 PM: After a hectic prelimiary rounds, the results are finally out. The Univesrities which make it to the Semi Finals (without any particular order) are:
 
Utkal University, Bhubaneswar
 
Nirma University
 
GNLU, Gandhinagar
 
Saveetha School of Law, Chennai
 
3:10 PM- There is excitement in the air. Everything is jusst going on time. Draw of Lots has been done and fixtures prepared. Our teams are not set to compete in the Semi Finals of the 2nd edition of NTAC.
3:15 PM- The judges have taken their seats in the respective court rooms. Lots of Luck to out=r Semi Finalists! May the best team win!
 

Court room 1: The Law College, Utkal University v. Saveetha School of Law, Chennai

3:20 PM- The Hon’ble Judges are escorted in and are present in the court. The current session is adjudged by Shri, Kumar Ganesh Dutt, Shri B.B Mangal Murthy and Shri Anil Kumar Sinha, who are designated senior advocates of Jharkhand High Court.

3:22 PM- The speaker 1 for Prosecution approaches the dais and opens the case. She sets out the facts briefly before the court and states before the court that she endeavors to prove the prosecution’s case of dowry death against the accused.

3:26 PM- Counsel on behalf of the defence approaches the dais, introduces himself and his co-counsels. He then, after due permission granted by the court, opens the case of the defence. He seeks permission to set out the facts before the court in a way such, which is not molded to support the prosecution’s case. Permission is granted.

3:29 PM-The speaker 1 for defence begins with his arguments in support of the accused’s innocence. He then says the prosecution’s case is a beautiful story with a hint of subtle sarcasm.

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3:31 PM- The counsel for prosecution initiates the chief examination of the prosecution witnesses.

3:33 PM- PW1 is called to the stand and is placed upon oath. With a heavy heart, he tells the court that the behavior of his playful kid changed once she got married, she was sad and bothered more often than not. He is put questions by the Hon’ble Judges. It was brought to the attention of the court that all possible efforts were made to save the marriage.

3:38 PM- His grief was apparent on his face when he said that he had overheard his daughter being called a bad luck.

3:40 PM- The Hon’ble judges instruct the steno in his recording of the statements made during the deposition.

3:44 PM- The next witness is called upon. She introduces herself as the mother of the deceased. She was aggrieved about the communication gap she and her daughter had after Ashima got married. She gave an account of how she came to know about the death of her daughter and her state of mind upon seeing her daughter in her death bead. With her voice breaking, she says her daughter was dead when she arrived and the reaction of the in laws was “casual”.

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3:49 PM- The next witness is called upon. He sets out before the court what were his findings during the course of investigation.

3:51 PM- The Bench goes through the exhibits of the crime scene.

3:53 PM-The entry-exit register was produced. The defence objects that such document cannot be admitted. The Bench takes note of it.

3:54 PM- PW4 is called to the stand for examination.

4:01 PM- It was pointed out before the court by the defence that Post Mortem report was not exhibited before the court. The prosecution, rising smartly to the occasion, immediately provided the copy. The judges pointed it out to the evidence that they could have held on to this lacuna until the final argument, they lost an opportunity and the prosecution took benefit of it.

4:05 PM- The defence, unyieldingly, raises objection after objection regarding the evidence produced by the prosecution.

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4:07 PM- Hon’ble Judge again warns the defence not to hand in opportunities to the prosecution to mark the exhibits. They were warned to wait until the final argument to point out defects in the production of evidence by the prosecution.

4:10 PM- The defence counsel is asked to sit down for the 3rd time as he raises another premature objection.

4:13 PM- Speaker 2 for defence seeks permission to cross examine the Prosecution’s witnesses.

4:14 PM- PW1 takes the stand and he is asked about the money demanded from the in laws.

4: 18 PM- The Bench instructs the counsel in his framing of questions and advices him not to bring on record facts against his own accused, which were not even brought up by the prosecution.

4:20 PM- The mother of the deceased is asked to take the stand for cross examination.

4:28 PM- The next PW, the investigating officer is asked if he himself filed the FIR, to which he answered affirmatively. He was asked about his finding and his opinion regarding the nature of the death i.e. Suicidal or Homicidal, to which the witness replied that he is not a doctor or capable of understanding a medical report and is not a person competent to make such assertions before the court.

4:34 PM- PW4 is called to the stand and is placed under oath. The witness states that he has been practicing as a chief surgeon for the past 17 years, correcting the counsel who called him a “doctor”. He was asked about the procedure he followed while dissecting as well as the nature and causes of injuries.

4:43 PM- The witness very lucidly explains what “pulmonary edema” is. The witness says that the chances of death occurring due to it are miniscule.

4:47 PM- After a tiring cross examination the PW4 is excused and the next witness is called upon. She admits that she had earlier said that “Ashima and Nakul” were considered as the perfect couple in college.

4:51 PM- The defence has improved their cross examination tactics, ironically, while examining the last prosecution witness. The witness contradicts her own statements on the stand to the benefit of the defence.

4:54 PM- The witness states before the court that she received the letter by speed post.

4:55 PM- PW5 admits that she doesn’t remember the details of the entry-exit record that was exhibited by the prosecution. It is pointed out by the crossing counsel that she contradicts her statement when she admits that she handed over the record to Mr. Aurobindo.

4:59 PM- The cross examination of PWS end.

5:11 PM- Chief examination of the Defence witnesses begin, speaker 1 for defence calls DW1 to stand.

5:13 PM- The crossing counsel is asked not to lead the witnesses.

5:14 PM- The witness, Nakkul was on the verge of tears while he explained that he and Ashima were happy together and he was disconsolate to have lost her. He broke down on the stand and was consoled by the Hon’ble judge. He said he was in shock when he saw the body of his wife, blood splattered and stone cold.

5:17 PM- Next, Baldev Khanna was called to the stand. He said his daughter in law was no less than a daughter to him. He could not have praised his daughter in law any more than he already did, on the stand.

5:21 PM- He is then asked to give brief accounts of incidents that occurred on various dates specified by the counsel.

5:23 PM- The witness states that he “ran” to his house. He changes his statement to “rushed to his house” as the judges were amused by his “flash” like abilities.

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5:24 PM- The witness is excused and DW3, the mother of Nakkul Khanna is called forth 5:28: The bench puts forth the question, “Why the principal offender was produced as a defence witness” and points out that his examination could have been done under 313 CRPC. The defence counsel fails to answer the question.

5:30 PM- The mother of the principal offender denies allegations against her for having demanded dowry from the deceased and her family. She clarifies she belongs to a very wealthy family. She gives her version of the occurrences of the fateful day.

5:32 PM- She was asked if she took any steps to help or aid Ashima to which she answered affirmatively. The next witness was called to the stand.

5:43 PM- Defence rests. Counsel on behalf of the prosecution begins cross examination of the defence witness.

5:44 PM- The bench puts forth question to both the counsels, as well as those present in the courtroom, “Whether the oath being administered in the court room is the only form of oath that could be administered”. All of us, sadly, could not rightly answer. The Hon’ble Judges explained that there are two different forms, one for those who have faith and those who are atheists. He recommended that both forms should be available in the court room. It is indeed enlightening to have such experienced senior advocates among us, presiding over the session.

5:48 PM- DW1, Nakkul, takes the stand for the purpose of cross examination. He is aggrieved by the insensitive nature of questions put to him and his voice breaks as he sets out to answer the questions put to him.

5:52 PM- The witness states that he used to go out with his wife for lunch “to change the mood”. The Judges with a chuckle, approve of his romantic and considerate gestures.

5:54 PM- The counsel for prosecution is stopped in his tracks to prevent him from continuously asking leading questions to Nakkul. The Counsel stands warned that such an act is bad in law.

5:55 PM- The counsel is advised by the Hon’ble bench to not ask questions to the witness regarding the facts that are established and not in question. His endeavors should be to demolish the statements made by the Defence witnesses.

6:01 PM- The next WD is called upon. She introduces herself as Rekha Khanna, the mother in law of the deceased. She admits that she wanted to be a grandmother.

6:06 PM- The counsel is asked not to repeat his question or ask irrelevant questions, as such facts are not in dispute.

6:08 PM- The next DW takes the stand. He is the doctor associated with the Khanna family. He is asked to explain what “vertigo” is. He brings to the notice of the court the name of the drug that was prescribed to the deceased by him.

6:13 PM- DW5 is called to take the stand and is placed under oath.

6:15 PM- Cross examination of the defence witnesses end. The Prosecution is granted leave of 5 minutes to prepare its closing argument.

6:20 PM- Speaker 2 for prosecution opens his final argument. His sheds light on chain of events that clearly incriminate the accused. He brings to the notice of the court that the conduct of the accused was “not that of a reasonable man”. He explains that the “soon before” test as well as all the required ingredients of the alleged offences have been satisfied.

6:32 PM- The counsel cites precedents in support of the prosecution’s case.

6:33 PM- The counsel is asked by the Bench that under which of the two heads of charge he seeks conviction i.e. 302 or 304B. He chooses to go with S. 304 B i.e. Dowry death.

6:41PM- The prosecution puts its prayer before the Hon’ble Bench. Speaker 2 for defence approaches the dais to begin with the closing argument of the defence.

6:42 PM- He questions the reliability of exhibits brought before the court without subjection to expert opinion. He argues that circumstantial evidence should conclusively point to the guilt of the accused in absence of direct evidence.

6:51 PM- The defence puts its prayer before the Bench

6:52 PM- The Court is adjourned until verdict.

Court room 2: GNLU, Gandhinagar v. Institute of Law, Nirma University

3:20 PM- The current session will be adjudged by Mr. J P Singh, Mr. G K Malik and Mr. V P Singh, who are designated senior advocates of Jharkhand High Court.

3:22 PM- The Counsels for both the teams are seated and waiting for the Judges to come as the witnesses are asked to leave after a rigorous briefing session.

3:24 PM- The court room is in session.

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3:26 PM-The prosecution explains the chain of events and how she shall deal with the prosecution witnesses.

3:27 PM-The defence starts with their opening statements claiming that they would prove that the accused are innocent. A confident start.

3:29 PM-The counsel for the defence submits an application u/s 315 CrpC for the accused to be examined. The Court accepts the application and the opening statement of both the teams are thus, duly delivered.

3:30 PM-The prosecution wishes to bring the first witness to the stand, the father of the deceased. PW1 identifies himself to the Court. The prosecution gets the marriage certificate exhibited before the court.

3:33 PM-The prosecution calmly examines the first witness as the next witness is called into the stand.

3:35 PM-The defence asks the prosecution to be louder. The Court directs the same as the prosecution resumes with the chief examination of PW2.

3:35 PM-The prosecution is not wasting any time and seems very direct in their approach as they finish with PW2. The next witness is called for examination.

3:37 PM-PW3 is put into stand for the chief examination. The Sub Inspector is excused after he identified that photographs of the crime scene. There is pin drop silence in the Court Room as if there was someone really tried for murder.

3:41 PM-The Medical expert is called into the stand for chief examination as he explains the cause of death to the Court. And that shall be all as the prosecution is already done with their witness.

3:42 PM-The next witness identifies herself to the court and then identifies the letter written by the deceased as the prosecution looks to be doing excellently as there has been no objection, either by the judges or by the defence.

3:46 PM- The prosecution is already done with the chief examination. The counsel foe defence calls upon PW1 for cross examination.

3:47 PM-The defence cross examines PW1 asking every minute details and tries to get to him. The prosecution objects and tries to save their witness. The counsel humiliates the witness by asking his date of birth but he tautly replies that he is 62 years old.

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3:55 PM-After a fiery grilling session, the defence calls upon PW3, the inspector before the stand.

3:58 PM-The counsel for the defence questions the Sub Inspector about the panchas and the FIR as well as the discrepancies on the crime of scene.

4:03 PM-The Sub Inspector is continuously failing to understand the questions and this humors the judges and the court is amused as he gets a scolding by the judges to not laugh while standing in the witness box.

4:06 PM-The prosecution seeks the Court's Permission to re-examine the witness. The Court directs that could only happen after the cross examination is over.

4:08 PM-The defence calls upon the next prosecution witness for cross examination, the medical expert. The witness is unable to explain to the court why wasn't certain information mentioned in his statement u/s 161 CrPC.

4:10 PM- The defence goes into the technicalities of the cause of death. The witness confidently responds to every question and then indulges into the discussion about the time of death. The witness is finally excused.

4:14 PM- The defence calls upon PW5, the friend of the deceased for cross examination.

4:16 PM- The defence seeks extension of time u/s 311 of CrPC. The Court then indulges into the discussion of dowry.

4:19 PM- The defence calls upon PW2 for cross examination seeking for an extension of another 2 minutes. the extention is duly granted.

4:22 PM- The defence is finally done with the cross examination. The second speaker for the defence shall now begin with the chief examination.

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4:23 PM- DW1, the first accused is asked to identify himself before the Court. The witness does excellently and explains vividly about his feelings about his wife, the deceased.

4:28 PM- The defence calls DW2 to the stand. The accused explains his relationship with the deceased. He then goes on talking about the incident.

4:33 PM- The defence takes its time to establish the case in their favor. The defence calls upon their third witness.

4:36 PM- The defence seeks the Court's permission to bring the medical expert, DW4 before the Court. The witness explains to the Court about the probable cause of death.

4:39 PM- DW5 is called for chief examination. The witness quickly explains the characters of the accused.

4:41 PM- The prosecution will now start with cross examination of the defense’s witnesses.

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4:43 PM- DW1 is put into the stand and is cross examined by the Second speaker of the prosecution.

4:45 PM- The prosecution looks confident in its approach and quickly wraps up the examination. Just next, DW2 is called for cross examination.

4:49 PM- The prosecution is done with DW2 and quickly does away with DW3.

4:53 PM- The prosecution bombs the defence medical expert with technical questions. The witness does really well. The next witness is called into the witness box.

4:58 PM- The teams are done with the examination of witnesses and are preparing themselves for delivering their closing statements.

5:09 PM- The Public Prosecutor has now, begun with his closing statement. The Public Prosecutor cites various cases which talk about dying declaration. He seems pretty confident with his arguments while the Judges are keenly listening what he has to contend.

5:13 PM- The Public Prosecutor rests his case and the Judges seem quite satisfied.

5:13 PM- The Defence has approached the dais with his closing statement. Firstly he refutes the contention of the Public Prosecutor and contends that the prosecution has failed to establish the ingredients for conviction under Section 304B of Indian Penal Code.

5:16 PM- He contends about the importance of the F.I.R. and argues as to why the F.I.R is not reliable in the instant case as far as the testimonies are concerned

5:19 PM- The counsel draws the attention of the Court to the fact that no forensic expert was called and that all the evidence were not collected and hence questioning the entire investigation.

5:21 PM- Counsel seeks for an extension. It appears he has a lot to contend!

5:22 PM- Couldn't prove there was a demand of dowry. He concludes by saying that the witnesses are not reliable. He prays for acquittal of his client. Just as the counsel leaves the dais, he is questioned about the provision talked about in the arguments by the defense, to which he quickly replies.

5:24 PM- The Judges have a healthy discussion regarding provisions about examination of the witnesses with the teams.

5:27 PM- The proceeding comes to an end

7:00 PM- The Semi Finals have come to an end and the teams are waiting for the results to be announced.

7:30 PM: The much awaited results are finally here. The two teams breaking into the Grand Finale are:

Nirma University 

Saveetha School of Law, Chennai

7:32 PM: Both the teams are given 45 minutes each to go for their last witness briefing, which shall play a very big role in the final face off tomorrow.

8:30 PM: It's been a hectic day today with teams showcasing some outstanding advocacy skills. Everyone is gearing up for tomorrow as we all look forward to an amazing Grnad Finale tomorrow. Stay tuned folks!

 

Day 3: Grand Finale & Valedictory Ceremony

10:25 AM: Good morning, everyone. Here we are, assembled at the Judicial Academy, Jharkhand ready for the d- day. As we enter the final phase of thise three day event, we are committed to bring you the live updates of the Grand Finale Round.

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10:30 AM- The honorable Acting Vice Chancellor is here and is having a healthy interactive session with the participants from different universities from all over the country. The ambience is enveloped in fiasco and everyone is looking forward to the beginning of the event.

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10:34 AM: The finalists are all pepped, waiting for the judges in anticipation

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10:35 AM: The trophies are shining in their glory as they set the stage on fire.

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11:08 AM- Deviating from the normal procedure, now the chief examination and the cross examination will happen then and there only before the witness leaves the court room, as announced by Mr. Kirtikar Sukul.

11:29 AM: The judges, after their briefing, have arrived and have taken their respective seats.

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11:33 AM: The Proceedings have begun, Saveetha School of Law, Chennai on behalf of the Prosecution while Nirma University on behalf of the defence. The Public Prosecutor has taken over the podium and with the permission of the Judges is delivering the opening statement.

11:38 AM: The counsel on behalf of the defence opens his case.

11:41 AM: The speaker 1 presents the application seeking permission to call the accused as a witness.

11:42 AM: The Judges point out that the counsel on behalf of the prosecution has not presented any charges yet.

11:44 AM: The counsel summons the PW1, who after taking the oath has identified himself as the father of the deceased.

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11:45 AM: The Judge asks the age of the PW1 since the same was not asked by the counsel.

11:45 AM: The PW1 is asked "what was the difference between the two families" to which the counsel on behalf of the defence object.

11:48 AM: PW1 is narrating the events of the fateful day. The murder, as narrated by the PW1, wrenches everyone's heart.

11:50 AM: PW1 accepts that he has been briefed before coming to the trial which makes the counsel conclude that he might not be a "genuine" witness.

11:53 AM: PW1 is being cross examined sternly by the defense, leaving no stone unturned.
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11:55 AM:It has been brought to light that the deceased might be in a tense state, not because of apparent dowry, but because of the loss that the deceased's in laws suffered in the business.
 
11:59 AM: The public prosecutor now calls in PW2, who is the mother of the deceased who is describing the relationship between the deceased and her in laws. On being asked further, PW2 is narrating the incident of the black day.
 
12:05 PM- PW3 is here and is narrating the events of the day of the murder from his point.
 
12:08 PM: The judge asks the prosecutor as to from where did the prosecutor get the FIR exhibit following which he "pleads ignorance" on his inability to prove the exhibit.
 
12:11 PM: The Public Prosecutor is inquired as to what type of FIR has been lodged, which shakes his confidence a little.
 
12:16 PM: Shri Choudhary enlightens the prosecutor on the intricacies of the panchnama.
 
12:18 PM: The defense objects to the court's act of leading the prosecutor.
 
12:18 PM: The witness is now being cross examined.
 
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12:19 PM: The PW3 admits that he is "afraid of presenting the panchnama witness."
 
12:23 PM: The PW3 is shaky as he continues contradicting himself.
 
12:26 PM: Even though the prosecutors did not prove the forensic report, the defense questions the witness on the same grounds, which the Judge points out.
 
12:29 PM: The defense line of examination is questioned and the witness is accused.
 
12:30 PM: PW4 is summoned for the chief examination who is a medical examiner and is enlightening the court with the details of the autopsy.
 
12:34 PM: The witness is now being cross examined who is answering all the questions defiantly leaving no space for any doubts.
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12:42 PM: PW5, the friend of the deceased has been called in and she narrates an incident confirming the accused's aggressive nature.
 
12:45 PM: The witness takes the case further by telling the Court how intensely aggrieved the deceased was because of her "abusive relationship".
 
12:46 PM: The witness is now being cross examined.
 
12:47 PM: The witness informs that she was not aware of any instance of dowry whatsoever.
 
12:50 PM: The prosecutor now calls upon in the last winess.
 
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12:54 PM: The PW6 is now being cross examined. The witness's responsibility is in question.The co-counsel has taken over the podium to chief examine the defense witnesses. However, the Judge inquires of the correct procedure to examine the witnesses of the defense.
 
12:59 PM: The Additional Director of Judicial Academy, Jharkhand, Sri Nalin Kumar, is now present with us.
 
1:01 PM: DW1 is summoned, who is the accused is describing how beautiful a life he was living with the deceased.
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1:04 PM: The accused is narrating the day of the incident. The face of the accused is entirely covered with the pain of losing a wife. He takes a break from speaking to drink water and calms himself down. Life is really hard for him!
 
1:07 PM: The accused is now being cross examined and he blatantly states that he no longer has anger issues, unaware that most of the witness have already enlightened the Court about the opposite.
 
1:10 PM: Defense witness 2 is called in. He is the father in law of the deceased.
 
1:12 PM: DW2 is speaking highly of the deceased. He is narrating the turn of events on the day of the incident.
 
1:17 PM: The DW2 is giving no chance to the examiner to "grill" him.
 
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1:27 PM: The prosecutor is having a gala time grilling the witnesses.
 
1:30 PM: DW4 is another medical practitioner and is telling the medical history of the deceased.
 
1:32 PM: DW4 is throwing light on the autopsy report and is giving the needed suggestions and remarks.
 
1:34 PM: DW4 declares that the cause of the death was cardiac arrest.
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1:35 PM: DW4 is now being cross examined
 
1:44 PM: DW5 leaves the court room. The atmosphere is heavy with anticipation. Every moment has a new twist, every witness a new story.
 
1:47 PM: A break of 15 minutes has been declared.
 
2:06 PM: The court is now in session and the Public Prosecutor proceeds with his closing statement.
 
2:09 PM: The Judge inquires as to what is the evidence that a demand for dowry was made.
 
2:22 PM: The prosecutor contends that there is dowry by the accused and his family. The public prosecutor pleads that the accused be held guilty as the defence has failed to create a resonable doubt and the prosecution has proved all the ingredients and charges beyond resonable doubt.
 
2:24 PM: The defense has taken over the podium to deliver his closing statement.
 
2:27 PM: The counsel mentioned a contradiction between the statements. The Judge grills the counsel and asks whether the counsel had confirmed the contradiction with the Investigating Officer. The counsel moves ahead and talks about the important documents like the F.I.R and contends that the prosecution has failed to prove the ingredients required for conviction under Section 304B of Indian Penal Code. The Judge then questions about the difference between unnatural and accidental death.
 
2:33 PM: The counsel answers a previous question put forth and states that defence has failed to prove the interntion behind the murder and prosecution will show the same.
 
2:45 PM: The Public Prosecutor asks the permission of the Court to answer the contention put forth by the defence and the defence counsel firmly says "NO" following which the auditorium has a little giggle over the same. The counsels argue over the importance over a full legth autopsy report. The defense is defiantly denying all the charges.
 
2:49 PM: The Defence rests it's case by pleading acquittal of their clients.
 
2:50 PM: The Judges are giving their feedback and congratulating the participants for the tremendous show. The Director/Acting V.C congratulates the other participants for their hard work and extends his vote of thanks to all of them for participating in 2nd NUSRL NTAC, 2017
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2:54 PM: The rate of heartbeats are increasing with every passing minute as we near towards the announcement of the results.
 
2:58 PM: The Judges take a moment to appreciate the witnesses who were spontaneous in handling the questions thrown by the cross examiners.
 
 
3:00 PM: The Valedictory ceremony commences with Mr Mainan Ray , faculty, NUSRL Ranchi with his vote of thanks.
 
3:08 PM: A token of love is given by Sri G.K. Chowdhary to the guests present.
 
3:10 PM: Akchansh Kishore, the program supervisor, is now presenting the report of the entire event. These 3 days couldn't have been summarized better.
 
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3:11 PM: Finally the moment is here for the declaration of the results. Everyone is all ears as the anticipation reaches the pinnacle. The certificate of participation are being given out.
 
3:16 PM: And it's here......
 
Best team: Saveetha School of Law represented by H.Sabeer Ali, V.R.Sai Sathya & A.S.Vaisakh Sree

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Runners up: Nirma University represented by Virendra Singh Ranawat, Mani Shankar & Anjali Upadhaye

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Best speaker: Himanshu Aggarwal, CNLU Patna

Best researcher: Anjali Upadhaye, Nirma University.

Best memorial: CNLU Patna
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4:00 PM: And it's a wrap! The teams have left for a late lunch and arrrangements are being made for their return. The Organizing Committee worked really hard for this event to be a success and can finally take a sigh of relief. The Organizing Committee is all smiles.
 
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A big shoutout to our photographers who left no stone unturned to get the best possible clicks.
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This is the Live Blogging team signing off for this time with a promise to be back with a bigger and better third season. We hope you had a pleasant read.
 
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