A Ghaziabad court on Tuesday rejected an application by dentist couple Rajesh and Nupur Talwar,who are being tried for the 2008 murder of their teenaged daughter Aarushi and domestic help Hemraj,asking for hearings to be adjourned for a week to let them appeal in the Allahabad High Court against an order dismissing their plea to summon 14 persons as court witnesses.
On May 4,the trial court had rejected an application by the Talwars to summon 14 persons not produced as prosecution witnesses by the CBI. The couple approached the Supreme Court but were told that the matter should first be brought to the notice of the Allahabad High Court. On Monday,the counsel for Talwars submitted an application in the trial court seeking a weeks time.
Additional Sessions Judge Shyam Lal,while rejecting their request for a weeks time,gave them two days to go to Allahabad and warned that if they did not turn up in the trial court on May 17,their bail would be cancelled.
There seems to be no justification for delay for a week. Only two days time is given to leave for Allahabad to file the petition but they will appear in person on May 17,failing which their bail will be cancelled and they will only have themselves to blame. In consequentium,relief for one week is rejected, he said.
He pulled up the Talwars for delaying the trial and said that the couple could not attend hearings at their leisure and pleasure.
Undaunted by their unsuccess in the Supreme Court,they have now approached the High Court. The application has been oppugnated by CBI tooth and nail on the fulcrum of putting unwarranted road blocks in the surge of an urge for expeditious trial as mandated by the Supreme Court, he said.
The order sought to be oppugned (by the accused) was passed on May 4,and thereafter case for recording of accused statements under Section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure was passed on May 6. After that adjournment after adjournment has been sought. The question is,if this court is obliged to give adjournments on the asking of the accused. The court cannot be a silent spectator by leaving control of the trial to the accused who have,as it appears,decided not to take the case forward. The court cannot give adjournments after adjournments at the drop of a hat.
Procrastination is the thief of time. Now the time has come to see that the syndrome of delay does not erode the concept of expeditious justice which is a constitutional demand. Sir Francis Bacon in his aphoristic style said hope is a good breakfast,but it is a bad supper. Justice Krishna Iyer on the delay of criminal justice said,Our justice system even in grave cases,suffers from slow motion syndrome which is lethal to fair trial whatever the ultimate decision. Speedy justice is a component of social justice since the community,as a whole,is concerned in the criminal being finally punished within a reasonable time and the innocent being absolved from the inordinate ordeal of criminal proceedings, ASJ Shyam Lal said.
Quoting Saint Robert Southwell who said creeping snails have weakest force,the judge said: Even if the petition is allowed by the superior courts,supplementary statements can be recorded for which there is no legal bar. Therefore,recording of statements (under Section 313 of the CrPC) cannot be postponed at this juncture.