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Delhi High Court Sets Aside Murder Conviction & Life Sentence Of Man Who Was Unrepresented By Lawyer, Remands Case Back To Trial Court

Nupur Thapliyal
13 Sep 2022 10:45 AM GMT
Delhi High Court Sets Aside Murder Conviction & Life Sentence Of Man Who Was Unrepresented By Lawyer, Remands Case Back To Trial Court
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Setting aside the orders of conviction for murder and sentence of life imprisonment awarded to a man in 2018 who was unrepresented by a lawyer before the Trial Court, the Delhi High Court has remanded the case back to the Trial Court for cross examination of certain prosecution witnesses. A division bench comprising of Justice Mukta Gupta and Justice Anish Dayal was of the view that there...

Setting aside the orders of conviction for murder and sentence of life imprisonment awarded to a man in 2018 who was unrepresented by a lawyer before the Trial Court, the Delhi High Court has remanded the case back to the Trial Court for cross examination of certain prosecution witnesses.

A division bench comprising of Justice Mukta Gupta and Justice Anish Dayal was of the view that there had been a grave miscarriage of justice to the man as when number of witnesses were examined, he was not represented by a counsel and that the legal aid counsel, who was present before Trial Court, was appointed on the same day and was asked to cross- examine the witnesses.

Narender was convicted for offence of murder punishable under sec. 302 of IPC on March 20, 2018. He was sentenced on 4th May, 2018 by the Trial Court for life imprisonment and also to pay a fine of Rs. 10,000.

The case of the prosecution was that the man had committed murder of his wife by strangulating her to death.

In appeal, the man had argued that during the substantial course of trial, he was not represented by a lawyer and hence the trial in the absence of a lawyer had seriously prejudiced him. He thus sought recalling of all the prosecution witnesses, thereby ensuring a fair trial.

"The manner in which the trial is conducted, there was a serious denial of fair trial to the appellant. The appellant is required to be given an opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses i.e. the witnesses examined in the absence of the lawyer, or the lawyer having been appointed on the same day from the legal aid and asked to cross-examine the witnesses," the Court observed.

The Court thus remanded the back to Trial Court for cross-examination of ten prosecution witnesses. It also directed the Trial Court Judge to follow due process of law and also to record the statement of the man under Section 313 CrPC and permit leading the defence evidence if so required.

"The case be listed before the learned Trial Court on 26th September, when Superintendent Tihar Jail will product the appellant before the learned Trial Court. Learned Trial Court is requested to expedite the trial and conclude the same preferably within four months," the Court ordered.

Case Title: NARENDER @ LALA v. STATE OF NCT OF DELHI

Citation: 2022 LiveLaw (Del) 858

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