The Jammu and Kashmir crime branch has initiated the process of pressing perjury charges against a witness in the case of rape and murder of an eight-year-old girl in Kathua.
The witness had retracted from a "confessional statement" recorded in front of a magistrate, officials said today.
A show-cause notice has been served to Ajay Kumar alias 'Ajju' by the sessions judge of Pathankot, Tejwinder Singh, asking him to explain on Monday "why an action under section 479-B of Jammu and Kashmir Criminal Procedure Code may not be initiated against him".
This section provides summary procedure for trial of witnesses deposing contrary to statements recorded under Section 164-A (evidence of material witnesses to be recorded by Magistrate in certain cases).
Mr Kumar had recorded his statement before a judicial magistrate in Jammu on February 27 this year in which he had claimed that Parvesh Kumar alias 'Mannu' had given a graphical description about the rape and subsequent murder of the girl belonging to a nomadic minority community.
He has been asked to appear before the court in person or be represented by a counsel on November 12.
The session judge is holding trial for the Kathua rape-and-murder case on directions of the Supreme Court.
The eight-year-old girl, belonging to a nomadic tribe, was allegedly kidnapped on January 10 and her body was found on January 17. It is alleged that she was gang-raped and later murdered. The crime branch has arrested eight people, including a juvenile in the case.