December 24, 2021 3:58:59 am
The Gujarat HC Thursday granted a special NIA court two months’ time to complete the examination of prosecution witnesses in various cases. The direction came as it was hearing bail pleas filed by several accused arrested in various cases filed by NIA.
The HC’s accommodation came following a submission by the NIA that it has finalised the list of prosecution witnesses. It had said “around 34 witnesses” will be examined. These witnesses include panch witnesses, FSL officers, investigating officers from Gujarat police and from the NIA and nodal officers of mobile companies, submitted Devang Vyas, Additional Solicitor General at the Gujarat HC, on behalf of the NIA.
Seeking the prosecution be granted two months to close its evidence in a fast-tracked trial, Vyas further submitted that if there is no substantial progress in the said time, the court can again consider the plea by one of the accused, Shailesh Barvadiya, facing trial on allegations of printing fake notes post-demonetisation.
The court accepted Vyas’ submission noting that it was “not in dispute that since August 2021 till this date, the NIA court has been able to examine only two prosecution witnesses”. The division bench of Justices JB Pardiwala and NR Mehta noted, “Let us see how the trial progresses in two months… We do not want any excuse of any nature at the end of the trial.” The court posted the matter for further hearing for February 24.
The NIA also sought a similar timeline in another bail plea by an accused in judicial custody for more than three years facing charges of conspiracy and fake note printing.
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