Duty Of Trial Court To Ensure That Trial Is Not Prolonged: Supreme Court
The Supreme Court has voiced its concern about the delay in witness examination and stated that it is the trial court’s responsibility to prevent the trial from going on for too long because witness testimony suffers from time lag. The trial court must oversee any party’s stalling tactics, according to a bench of Justices SK Kaul and MM Sundresh.
The observations were made after a man was granted bail after being accused of helping the murderers of the mayor of the Andhra Pradesh district of Chittor escape.
The individual has been imprisoned for the past seven years, and the prosecution’s witnesses have not yet been questioned, the top court said.
“We are concerned that the trial has not yet started and that the prosecution witnesses have not been questioned seven years after the occurrence. This is absolutely inappropriate. The evidence of witnesses, particularly that of eyewitnesses, is complicated by time lag.
The bench stated, “It is the responsibility of the prosecution to see that the prosecution witnesses are available and it is the responsibility of the trial court to see that no party is permitted to prolong the trial.”
The top court ordered the trial court to make sure that the judgement of the trial court is available following the trial within a year of the date on which this order was communicated.
“We are, however, inclined to grant bail to the appellant considering the role ascribed to the appellant in the charge sheet and the total period spent in custody. Ordered accordingly.