December 16, 2015 1:54:25 am
The Delhi High Court has directed the special National Investigation Agency (NIA) court to expedite proceedings in the plea of the juvenile, found guilty in the Delhi High Court blast case by the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), against the verdict.
The high court also directed the NIA court to “preferably” conclude the plea hearing within three months. The high court’s direction came while it was disposing of the writ petition filed by the juvenile, seeking court direction to Additional Sessions Judge Rakesh Pandit, that the case file be sent back to Additional Sessions Judge (ASJ) Neena Bansal Krishna. On May 27, ASJ Krishna had reserved her judgment after hearing the arguments in the case.
Earlier, ASJ Rakesh Pandit had ordered fresh arguments in the case after the transfer of ASJ Krishna to the family court. He had also rejected the plea of juvenile, who had sought that the case be transferred to Krishna.
Advocate Mehmood Pracha, counsel for the juvenile, had argued before the court that since the matter was “conclusively heard” by ASJ Krishna, she should pass the order. Meanwhile, the NIA had opposed the plea and had submitted to the court that it “can hear the fresh arguments”.
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Subsequently, ASJ Pandit had ordered, “The plea of counsel for the accused to send the file before the same judge is not tenable and thus rejected. However, parties are at liberty to address fresh arguments, if they desire.”
The court will now hear the matter on December 21.
The present appeal relates to a July 2014 order, in which the JJB had found the juvenile guilty and ordered him to a three-year term at a special home. Principal Magistrate Vishal Singh, on July 7, 2014, had found the juvenile guilty for his role in the terror attack on September 7, 2011.
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