In the traditional sense, banchas are five individuals who act as independent witnesses during any police raid. However, in the NCB naval raid that led to the high-profile arrest of actor Shahrukh Khan’s son Aryan Khan, two such witnesses were present, their legality was recently questioned by the NCP leader, Nawab. Owner.
According to a report in Indian Express, Malik claimed that these two witnesses do not hold true, as one of them has connections to a political party, and the other has a criminal record. He described the cruise ship raid as “fake” and claimed during a press conference in Mumbai that “one of them (witnesses) is Manish Bhanushali, who claims to be a BJP official and the other is KP Gosawi, who claims to be a private investigator”.
The Indian Express reported that Deputy Director General of the National Central Bank Janeshwar Singh described the ANC’s allegations as “baseless”. Janeshwar alleged that the two people were “among 10 independent witnesses who were used as panchas in the panchanams” carried out by the office.
Who are the pancha and what is the panchama?
In a criminal investigation, the panchnamama provides evidence supporting the investigation that took place at the crime scene or forfeiture of materials etc. Panchinama actions are recorded in front of witnesses also known as pancha. Witnesses confirmed the items found by the police and signed the panchenama.
The Indian Express report claims that although panchas are generally assumed to be “independent” witnesses, it is sometimes difficult to obtain such persons during an ongoing raid. Therefore, in some cases, banchas are people known to the police (although this should not be the case).
The issues of who the pancha are are usually dealt with in the trial phase, and do not appear in the investigation phase, because during that period it is not known who the pancha are. However, according to an Indian Express report, in the case of Aryan Khan, the identity of the Pancha came into the limelight because one of them was seen holding a hand and escorting Arbaaz Merchant in front of the camera, while the other took a photo with Aryan Khan which has since spread the virus.
What are the guidelines on who can be a Punch witness?
The Indian Express report claims that “according to Section 100 (4) of the Code of Criminal Procedure,” an officer shall.. summon two or more independent and respectable residents of the district in which the place to be searched is located or from any other district if such is not available This dweller in the aforementioned area or was willing to be a witness to the research…”
In Aryan Khan’s case, however, a witness recorded a FIR on record against him, even though the NCB claimed they were unaware of Bunch’s witness’s background.
The Punch witnesses are also supposed to be mere observers, they cannot take part in the raid which was carried out by the law enforcement personnel and this is part of the NCP’s claim against the Punch witnesses in the Aryan Khan case.
ANC Spokesperson and Maharashtra State Minister, Nawab Malik, previously said, “The man who was seen holding Aryan Khan’s hand and taking him to the office of the National Central Bank is called KP Gosavi. Later a picture of him and Khan was posted inside the NCB office. Central bank officials later claimed that Gosavi was not an official at the NCB. If he was not, what was he doing inside the NCB office with Khan?”