Attempt By Accused To Cause Delay In Trial Of Serious Offences Should Be Dealt With Iron Hands- Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has observed, "The trial must come to its logical end at the earliest. Any attempt on the part of the accused to delay the trial of serious offences is to be dealt with iron hands. More the delay, more the possibilities of influencing the witnesses."
The Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice Krishna Murari dismissed the application for modification or substitution of a bail condition of the applicant who was accused of committing very serious offences and has used his power and influence to delay the trial for the past 11 years of filing the FIR.
The applicant was arrested by the CBI and was facing trial for offences under IPC, Indian Forest Act, 1927, and Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957. The applicant accused was released on regular bail by the Supreme Court by an order dated January 20th, 2015 after imposing certain bail conditions on the accused.
The applicant had filed several applications requesting to delete/modify the bail conditions, which this Court modified and substituted via order dated 19.08.2021 and directed the Trial Court to expedite the Trial but the trial has not begun.
Meenakshi Arora, Senior Advocate for the applicant submitted that the bail has been granted for more than 6-7 years, the trial has not proceeded further and the applicant has not violated any of the conditions imposed by this Court. It was submitted that the delay in the trial was not attributable to the applicant
Madhavi Divan, ASG for the respondent- CBI submitted that CBI has strong apprehension that if condition No. (c) so imposed by this Court in order was modified and/or substituted, the applicant may influence the witnesses which may ultimately affect the trial and the Judicial Process.
The Apex Court while dismissing the application observed that since the investigation was carried out by the CBI and most of the witnesses were from the area where the accused committed the crime, there would be a threat to the witnesses because of the power and influence the applicant is having.
Thus, the Bench held, "It is very unfortunate that even after a period of 11 years of filing the FIR and despite the observations made by this Court directing the trial to be expedited, the trial has not begun."
The Court also observed that "From the material on record, it appears that the trial has not begun on the ground that the accused/co-accused are filing the applications for discharge one after another, due to which the trial has not begun. In a case like this, it is always in the larger interest that the trial is conducted at the earliest. An early conclusion of the trial would enhance the faith of people in the justice delivery system. The trial must come to its logical end at the earliest. Any attempt on the part of the accused to delay the trial of serious offences is to be dealt with iron hands. More the delay, the more the possibilities of influencing the witnesses."
Accordingly, the Court dismissed the application and directed the Trial Court to conduct the trial on day to day basis and conclude the trial within six months.
Cause Title - Gali Janardhan Reddy v. The State of Andhra Pradesh