SC sets rules for time bound completion of criminal trials
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NEW DELHI: In order to convey uniformity in investigation and trial proceedings in prison circumstances throughout the nation and to wrap up hearings in a timebound method, the Supreme Court on Tuesday directed all excessive courts and governments to comply with the foundations authorised by it which have been drafted by three advocates on its suggestion.
As per the foundations, a schedule ought to be fastened by the trial courtroom to carry proceedings, ideally on a day-to-day foundation, and software for bail in non-bailable circumstances should ordinarily be disposed off inside three to seven days from the date of first listening to. It additionally mentioned state governments shall appoint advocates, apart from public prosecutors, to advise the investigating officer through the probe.
Approving the draft prison guidelines on observe, a bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat directed all HCs to take expeditious steps to include the foundations inside six months. The guidelines have been drafted by senior advocates Siddharth Luthra, R Basanth and lawyer Okay Parameshwar who assisted the courtroom as amicus curiae in settling the difficulty.
The courtroom handed the order after taking cognisance of the shortage of uniform practices with regard to preparation of harm experiences, deposition of witnesses, translation of statements, numbering and nomenclature of witnesses and so forth. The courtroom mentioned uniformity was wanted to convey readability with regard to trial courtroom proceedings and information for the aim of appreciation on the HC degree and ultimately, earlier than the SC.
“This court is of the opinion that courts in all criminal trials should, at the beginning of the trial, ie after summoning the accused and framing of charges, hold a preliminary case management hearing. This hearing may take place immediately after the framing of charges. In this hearing, the court should consider the total number of witnesses, and classify them as eyewitness, material witness, formal witness and experts,” the foundations mentioned.
“The schedule of recording of witnesses should then be fixed, by giving consecutive dates. Each date so fixed should be scheduled for a specific number of witnesses. However, the witnesses may be bound down to appear for 2-3 consecutive dates, in case their depositions are not concluded. Also, in case any witness does not appear, or cannot be examined, the court shall indicate a fixed date for such purpose,” the foundations added. The SC additionally directed state governments and the Centre to hold out consequential amendments to their police and different manuals, inside six months.

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