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Commence Limited Physical Hearing In Criminal Trials Pending For More Than 10 Years Where Accused Are Lingering In Custody; PIL Before Bombay HC [Read Petition]

Nitish Kashyap
10 Sep 2020 4:04 PM GMT
Commence Limited Physical Hearing In Criminal Trials Pending For More Than 10 Years Where Accused Are Lingering In Custody;  PIL Before Bombay HC [Read Petition]
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A PIL has been filed before the Bombay High Court seeking directions for commencing limited physical hearing for criminal trials that have remained pending for more than ten years wherein the accused are lingering in custody. Advocate Aarti Suvarna referred to the gradual unlock process which both the State and Centre began from June 4 and contended that since government and...

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A PIL has been filed before the Bombay High Court seeking directions for commencing limited physical hearing for criminal trials that have remained pending for more than ten years wherein the accused are lingering in custody.

Advocate Aarti Suvarna referred to the gradual unlock process which both the State and Centre began from June 4 and contended that since government and private offices are now functioning, (although in limited capacity) and malls, gymnasiums, hotels, restaurants have also been opened, criminal trial of custody matters pending for more than a decade need to commence in order to gibe speedy justice by starting the limited physical hearing for conducting trial of criminal cases (with 30-50% strength) by implementing the Standard Operating Procedure.

The 36-year-old resident of South Mumbai has argued that during the lockdown as well as when unlock process is under implementation, almost all courts in India have conducted hearing of urgent matters via video conferencing mode, as on date, this Honourable High Court as well as District Courts have started limited physical hearing of the urgent cases in addition to court hearings via video conferencing.

The petitioner has also argued that if criminal trials where accused have been in custody for more than a decade, are not commenced, it will be a serious violation of human rights. Principle of natural justice, equity and fair play requires that trial of criminal matters in custody cases be started to deliver speedy justice to the undertrials lingering behind bars for several years, the petition states.

As for the Standard Operating Procedure, some of the suggestions made are-

(i) Such criminal matters pending for more than a decade be identified and enlisted.

(ii) Only five matters to be listed for trial between 11 am to 2 pm.

(iii) Accused in custody to appear via VC from jail

(iv) Only one Arguing Counsel, one AOR and one Public Prosecutor be permitted to enter

(v) Bar and Bench be segregated with a glass shield

(vi) Wearing a mask and gloves be made compulsory

(vii) Thermal and oxygen check at the entrance of the Court

(viii) Sanitization of court premises before and after court hours

Click Here To Download Petition

[Read Petition]



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