Punjab & Haryana HC Directs DGPs Of Haryana, Punjab & Chandigarh To File Affidavits On Steps Taken To Expedite Investigation & Trial
The Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the Director General of Police of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh to file affidavits spelling out the steps being taken to expedite the investigation process and trial of cases.
The bench of Justice Augustine George Masih and Justice Vikram Aggarwal observed that delaying the trial results in loss of not only the public time apart from the Courts time, but also gives an opportunity to the accused to win-over the witnesses at times.
Thus the Court directed that "We, therefore, want the Director General of Police Haryana, Punjab and UT, Chandigarh apart from the Directors of the Investigating Agencies to file affidavits spelling out the steps being taken and the progress, if any, in pursuance thereto, not only to expedite the investigation process including inclusion of scientific methods but also for expediting the trial and ensuring the appearance of not only the official witnesses but other prosecution witnesses as well."
R.S. Khosla was the Amicus Curiae in the matter. Satya Pal Jain, Additional Solicitor General of India and Dheeraj Jain, Senior Counsel, Government of India had also appeared.
The Court had observed that the non-appearance of the witnesses has been a major course of delay in the trial.
"Officials and witnesses when called to appear as witnesses must be bound down to appear in Courts giving it a priority over other duties and responsibilities which they have to perform.", the Court observed.
The Court held that it expects the Director General of Police and Heads of the Departments of the Investigating Agencies give equal thought and importance to the trial as well.
The Court has directed the DGPs of Haryana, Punjab and Chandigarh to file the affidavits within a period of four weeks.
"The said affidavits be filed within a period of four weeks from today with advance copy to the learned Amicus Curiae.", the Court directed.
The Court has posted the matter to January 19, 2023.
Cause Title- Court On Its Own Motion v. State Of Punjab & Others