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Delay In HCs To Hear Criminal Appeals : SC Appoints SG Tushar Mehta As Amicus Curiae To Find Solutions [Read Order]

Mehal Jain
4 Nov 2019 3:53 PM GMT
Delay In HCs To Hear Criminal Appeals : SC Appoints SG Tushar Mehta As Amicus Curiae To Find Solutions [Read Order]
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Noting the inability of High Courts to bring criminal appeals to an early conclusion, the Supreme Court on Monday sought the assistance of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in evolving solutions to the problem. The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was confronted with a case where the accused, who has been convicted under Section 302 IPC and whose appeal is pending before the...

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Noting the inability of High Courts to bring criminal appeals to an early conclusion, the Supreme Court on Monday sought the assistance of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta in evolving solutions to the problem.

The bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi was confronted with a case where the accused, who has been convicted under Section 302 IPC and whose appeal is pending before the Allahabad High Court, has been refused bail pending hearing of the appeal. The appellant has been custody for over three years.

The bench observed that the appeal before the Allahabad High Court is not likely to be heard immediately unless an order of expeditious hearing is passed either by it or by the High Court.

"No order of expeditious hearing ought to be passed by any court without good and cogent grounds as the same may affect other litigants whose appeals are similarly pending. Yet, at the same time, the inability of the High Court, for reasons beyond its control, to bring the criminal appeal(s) to an early conclusion should not result in a situation where the accused persons are to be released on bail on the aforesaid ground"- the apex court acknowledged that these questions require due consideration.

It was the grievance of the petitioner before the Supreme Court that while affording the benefit of bail to other co-accused, the High Court had in October, 2017 rejected his bail application for the want of a good ground. 'The High Court has not recorded any reasons whatsoever while rejecting the bail plea of the Petitioner and whereas on the other hand granting the bail to other accused persons', it is contended.

It was submitted that the Petitioner is seeking bail for allegedly causing death of an individual back in 2009. "The Trial in the matter is concluded and the Ld. Trial Court vide its judgment dated 25.01.2017 purely on the basis of circumstantial evidence has convicted the Petitioner under Section 147,148, 302/120B r/w 149 and 201 of IPC and has awarded life imprisonment for offences punishable under 302/120B and fine of Rs. 1,00,000/-", the SLP narrates.

The Petitioner has challenged this judgment before the High Court in February, 2017 which is pending its consideration.

He asserted that he was on bail throughout the Trial and has never misused the liberty of bail. "The Petitioner was taken into custody from the date of his conviction i.e. 25.01.2017 and has undergone over 2 years and 8 months in incarceration", it is lamented. 

The petition was argued by Devadatt Kamat, Senior Counsel assisted and briefed by Adv Rajesh Inamdar.

The matter will be heard next on November 8.

Click here to download order

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