24 Sep 2023 5:30 AM GMT
The Bombay High Court recently raised concerns regarding the non-production of incarcerated prisoners before Metropolitan Magistrate Courts every 15 days and asked the prosecutor to inform if video conferencing facilities were provided in all MM Courts in Mumbai.Justice Bharati Dangre was dealing with a bail application wherein Tribhuvansing Yadav, an accused in a forgery case, wasn’t...
The Bombay High Court recently raised concerns regarding the non-production of incarcerated prisoners before Metropolitan Magistrate Courts every 15 days and asked the prosecutor to inform if video conferencing facilities were provided in all MM Courts in Mumbai.
Justice Bharati Dangre was dealing with a bail application wherein Tribhuvansing Yadav, an accused in a forgery case, wasn’t produced before the MM Court in Andheri on several dates.
Under Section 309 of the CrPC, an accused cannot be remanded to over 15 days of custody and must be produced before the court to justify his further detention.
Observing that non-production was a regular feature, Justice Dangre directed the prisons department to file an affidavit on this aspect.
An affidavit was then placed before the court by Addl. Director General of Police & Inspector General (Prisons & Correctional Services), State of Maharashtra, Pune.
The prisons department claimed that the trial court did not direct Taloja Central Prison to produce the accused and therefore he was not produced before the trial Court on those dates. They pointed out that the accused was produced before the court last month after the court issued a warrant.
Public Prosecutor Aruna Pai asserted that it is imperative for the trial Court to issue a production warrant and in absence of which no accused can be produced before the Court.
Advocate Vinod Kashid for the petitioner claimed this was “incorrect” & “misconceived". He submitted that in no case, an accused can be remanded to custody by the Magistrate for a term exceeding 15 days, at a time and once there is a production before the Court, an endorsement about the next date of hearing is sufficient enough to secure his production before the Court, on the next date.
He claimed that a Magistrate is not expected to issue a production warrant for every accused and only upon issuance of the production warrant, the jail authorities shall produce the accused. He relied on the case of Apex Court in Ram Narayan Singh Vs. State of Delhi and ors, 1953 AIR 277.
Accordingly the court directed the PP to take instructions and appointed Advocate Satyavrat Joshi to assist the Court as an amicus curiae, “so that a workable solution is found out after ascertaining the position in law and the procedural aspect, since time and again the grievance is made on behalf of accused, and not only this, this Court has also taken judicial note of the fact that on several dates of listing, the accused are not produced before the Court.”
PP Aruna Paid then suggested that accused could also be produced via video conferencing.
“Let the necessary instructions be obtained by Ms.Pai on the said aspect and even on ascertaining whether the facility of video conferencing is made available to each Magistrate, Court restricted for the time being to Mumbai & Suburban area,” Justice Dangre said.
Case Title - Tribhuvansing Raghunath Yadav vs The State of Maharashtra
Case no. – Cri Bail Application – 1836 of 2023
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