The Supreme Court, on Tuesday, directed the Trial Court as well as the Juvenile Court to expedite disposal of the cases in the Naroda Gaon case and the Gulberg society case respectively. Both these cases pertain to the 2002 Gujarat riots.
The Bench comprising Chief Justice J.S. Khehar, Justice A.M. Khanwilkar and Justice D.Y. Chandrachud was hearing a Petition filed by the National Human Rights Commission. The Petition had brought to the notice of the Court that the trial of four juvenile was still pending in the Gulberg Society case, and that the Naroda Gaon case was at the stage of recording of evidence.
In its direction to the Juvenile Court, the Apex Court ordered, “Since the issue has been pending consideration with reference to an incident, which took place about fifteen years ago, we consider it just and appropriate to require the concerned Juvenile Court, to expedite the disposal of the matter, especially with reference to the recording of evidence, on a day to day basis (if possible), and to conclude the same at the earliest.”
In the Naroda Gaon case, it directed the Trial Court to complete the recording of evidence of the remaining defence witnesses within two months. On being informed that one of the witnesses is abroad, it further directed, “The defence, may be required to produce the remaining witnesses, within one month from today, and in case the remaining witnesses cannot be produced for the reason that one or more of them are not located within the territorial jurisdiction of the concerned Court (we are informed, that one of the witnesses is abroad), their evidence may be recorded by way of video conferencing, by following the parameters laid down by this Court in Sujoy Mitra versus State of West Bengal (2015) 16 SCC 615.”
Reinforcing its desire for a speedy disposal of the case, the Bench observed, “Under all circumstances, we hope and expect that the trial Court shall render its judgment in the instant second matter, within four months from today.”