Justice hurried is justice buried
Matter listed by High Court fails to make it in cause list
IMPHAL | Jul 19
A petition filed by Imphal Free Press (IFP) in the High Court of Manipur, pertaining to defamation case filed by the Chief Minister, which was supposed to be listed for hearing on July 20 was not listed in the cause list in total disregard to the order passed by the High Court.
IFP filed the petition challenging an order of trial court dated June, 18th 2019 allowing Dr Punit Jain to appear on behalf of complainant witnesses Rahul Kanwal and Kausik Deka, under section 317 CrPC application filed by the India TV News Pvt. Ltd. on the basis of Special Power of Attorney executed by the two witnesses. Moreover, the application pleaded the trial court to dispense with the attendance of the two complainant witnesses against whom the non-bailable warrants had been issued by the same court.
The petition challenged that in criminal trial there is no such provision in the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC), wherein by way of executing ‘special power of attorney’ a witness can authorise any other person to appear on behalf of a witness. Accordingly, it pleaded the court to quash the impugned order of the trial court in the interest of justice.
In response to the petition which was heard today, Justice Kh. Nobin Singh passed an order in the open court to list the matter before the Chief Justice on 20th July, 2019 and (in case because of Saturday) the court of Chief Justice is not in the sitting on 20th than to list it before Court No. 2.
The next hearing will decide the fate of the petition filed by the IFP whether the HC get order of notice & stay on the trial or not.
On July 10, 2019 the matter was listed before Justice Jamir Lanusungkum at the High Court after hearing the arguments of the IFP, the AAG sought time to rebut the argument following which the court adjourned the case for July15, 2019. On the day of hearing i.e. on July 15, the AAG submitted his arguments. In response, IFP sought time to rebut on which the court allowed and fixed the next date of hearing on July 19, and the matter was listed before Justice, Nobin Singh.
After almost one hour of arguments, the Court was inclined to issue notice and stay the trial court proceedings and also communicated it to AAG that “the sky is not falling, if the case to be stayed and listed on 30th” but the AAG after the hour long argument pleaded that the matter was earlier listed twice before the bench of Justice Jamir Lanusungkum. On this, the court said that, “If it is so, than how come it is listed before another court?”
In his argument, Shreeji Bhavsar, Advocate for IFP strongly objected and argued that AAG is raising such issues only after an hour of the arguments, when the court is inclined to issue notice and stay the trial, just to frustrate the right of the accused as if the trial is not stayed, than on July 22nd, 2019 the witness will be cross examined and the criminal revision will become infructuous.
Bhavsar further argued that the trial court is conducting the trial in arbitrary manner and has wrongly mentioned in the impugned order that
“counsel for accused has no objection with examination of Dr. Puneet Jain on behalf of the complainant witnesses.”
He pointed out that on the contrary the counsel for the IFP had filed written objection. He also argued that the accused has a right to have free, fair, impartial & transparent trial but the trial court has passed arbitrary order causing great prejudice to the rights of the accused and is a matter of great concern for the system.
Despite having listed the matter for July 20 by the Justice, the same was not appeared in the cause of tomorrow’s hearing.
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