Trial judge should not remain silent but should control a criminal case by actively participating therein to find out the truth, the court said.
The first bench of Tripura High Court has directed all trial judges in the state to “remain alive” at the time of recording evidence and to actively participate in the process and to control the criminal trial by such active participation to find out the truth and to ensure justice.
Expressing ‘unhappiness’ about the manner in which a trial was conducted, the bench comprising Chief Justice T Vaiphei and Justice CS Das said a trial judge is expected to be very sensitive from the stage of framing of charge and must have an idea about the materials on record.
The court dismissed an appeal against a sessions court order, which had set aside the conviction recorded by the magistrate court, in a criminal misappropriation case. The court agreed with the sessions court observation that that there is no legal evidence to show that the accused forged any document is a correct finding and we find nothing to interfere in the finding.
“The trial Judge would know it that mere marking of the documents as material object does not prove the contents of the documents. In a case of criminal breach of trust it has to be proved that the particular entry was made by the accused and that the particular bill voucher or the document was prepared by the accused through which the embezzlement of public fund has been made,” the court said.
“The role of a judge should be neutral and the ultimate aim should be to ensure justice irrespective of it is the accused or the victim of the offence. A trial Judge should not remain silent but should control a criminal case by actively participating therein to find out the truth. The law has empowered a trial Judge to put any question to a witness which is required to unearth the truth. It is not that trial Judge is to act for the prosecution or the defence. He is for the justice irrespective of the parties before him and for that purpose he should remain active and alive while conducting a trial,” the bench said.
Read the Judgment here.
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