April 3, 2021 1:10:38 am
An 84-year-old lawyer’s contention that a trial court judge was not conducting a murder trial in a fair manner, alleging that the judge conducted proceedings post 5 pm which was “inhuman” and that a witness statement was recorded in English, has been junked by a Delhi court, which said the “apprehension should be reasonable and not imaginary based on conjectures and surmises”.
The case was registered on a statement of Suresh Kumar, brother of victim Daulat Ram, whose body was found in a burnt condition in a car in Ghaziabad in 1999. The court has already convicted one person, Mohinder Pal, who had business dealings with the victim. The second accused, Bansi Lal, is Pal’s elder brother and was the municipal councillor of Geeta Colony at the time. Two others, Harish and Harmesh, are also facing trial in this case.
The case is being heard by a CBI court in Rouse Avenue. Harmesh, via his lawyer, sought a transfer of the case. He was granted bail in 2006 after he claimed he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. At the time, he had moved a plea for a 6-month postponement of trial, but a medical report found his claim was false and his bail was cancelled.
Harmesh’s lawyers told Principal District and Sessions Judge Dr Sudhir Kumar Jain that this “preconceived notion and mindset on part of the trial judge is materially affecting right of petitioner to get a fair, free trial. Trial court has great prejudice against petitioner and his counsel”.
The court was told that “prosecution witness Suresh Kumar Mittal gave his deposition in Hindi but was recorded in English on computer… The cross-examination… was closed without any opportunity to the petitioner for cross-examination which had caused grave illegality and material prejudice to the petitioner,” the court was told.
Harmesh’s lawyer told DSJ Jain that “trial court had conducted the proceedings till 5.20 pm on 13.12.2019 which was inhuman and objectionable to the counsel of the petitioner who is aged about 84 years”.
DSJ Jain in his order wrote that there “should not be any justifiable and reasonable apprehension of miscarriage of justice and likelihood of bias in the mind of an accused during… trial”.
“However, apprehension should be reasonable and not imaginary based on conjectures and surmises. It is one of the cardinal principles of fair trial that justice not only be done but it should be seen to be done. The mere allegations that justice would not be done in a fair and impartial manner is not sufficient…,” the court said.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines
- The Indian Express website has been rated GREEN for its credibility and trustworthiness by Newsguard, a global service that rates news sources for their journalistic standards.