Corruption Cases To Be Dealt With Priority, Trial Must Continue Without Long Adjournments: Madras HC
The Madras High Court has expressed displeasure over the pendency of corruption cases across the State.
The bench of Justice S.M. Subramaniam observed that it is an unfortunate circumstance, where, corruption cases are not dealt with by the Competent Authorities within a reasonable period of time.
"Keeping the trial pending for a long period would also end with dilution of proceedings and therefore, the corruption cases are to be dealt with on priority basis both by the Special Courts and regular Courts.", the Court held.
As per the status report submitted by the State, the Court observed that nearly 1635 corruption cases are pending across the State of Tamil Nadu and those cases were registered from the year 1983 onwards.
The Court noted that "Large scale corrupt activities are in the public domain. Public Servants are of the opinion that they can escape from the clutches of the Prevention of Corruption Act since the proceedings are kept pending for years together without any progress."
The Court directed that the Judicial Officers are bound to proceed with the trial without granting any unnecessary adjournments in corruption cases.
The Court noted that "There is a current trend in the Courts that the parties are seeking adjournments to achieve their goal in an indirect manner. Even for the purpose of bench hunting, such adjournments are sought for. On some occasions, in order to harass other parties, adjournments are sought for. At the outset, various trickery methods are adopted by the parties to get adjournments in order to evade the proceedings or to prolong the litigation. Such ideas or intention of the parties, at no circumstances, be encouraged by the Courts."
The Court observed that some litigants are attempting to adopt delay tactics by finding out certain loopholes in the Judicial System.
In this case, a criminal case was registered against the petitioner in 2003 under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
Advocate D.Soundar Raj appeared for the Petitioner whereas Government Advocate R.P.Murugan Raja appeared for the State.
The grievances of the petitioner is that, he was allowed to retire from service without prejudice to the criminal proceedings, but, the criminal case is pending for the past about 19 years and even charges have not been framed against the petitioner and the other accused persons.
The Court directed that charges are to be framed and the trial is to be conducted as expeditiously as possible.
Cause Title- V.Annadurai v. The Additional Chief Secretary to Government & Ors.