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Courts can't be 'silent spectator' in criminal trials: Supreme Court

PTI
Published Jul 21, 2015, 2:25 am IST
Updated Mar 28, 2019, 11:46 am IST
‘The order passed by the HC by no stretch of imagination can be regarded as faulty’
Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI/ File)
 Supreme Court of India (Photo: PTI/ File)

New Delhi: A court cannot be a "silent spectator" while presiding over a trial and should see that neither the prosecution nor the accused "corrode" sanctity of judicial proceedings or hijack community interest, the Supreme Court said on Monday.

"Keeping in view the concept of fair trial, the obligation of the prosecution, the interest of the community and the duty of the Court, it can irrefragably be stated that the Court cannot be a silent spectator or a mute observer when it presides over a trial.

 

"It is the duty of the court to see that neither the prosecution nor the accused play truancy with the criminal trial or corrode the sanctity of the proceeding. They cannot expropriate or hijack the community interest by conducting themselves in such a manner as a consequence of which the trial becomes a farcical one," a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Prafulla C Pant said.

The court's observations came while dismissing a plea filed against a Patna High Court verdict ordering re-trial of a murder case, which was closed, by the lower court after examining some formal witnesses.

 

Upholding the High Court's order, the apex court said, “the agonised widow of deceased was compelled to invoke the revisional jurisdiction of the High Court against the judgment of acquittal as the trial was closed after examining a formal witness.

"The order passed by the High Court by no stretch of imagination can be regarded as faulty. That being the position, we have no spec of doubt in our mind that the whole trial is nothing, but comparable to an experimentation conducted by a child in a laboratory. It is neither permissible nor allowable," it said.

 

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