JAMMU, Jan 1: High Court today stressed that the cases relating to the under trial prisoners shall be categorized as a priority sector litigation.
These observations have been made by Justice M K Hanjura while rejecting the bail application filed by one Rajesh Pandoh, who was allegedly involved in a murder case.
After hearing Senior Advocate Sunil Sethi with Advocate Vaibhav Gupta for the applicant whereas Deputy AG Sanjeev Padha for the State, Justice Hanjura observed, “various circulars have been passed by the High Court for the speedy disposal of the cases involving under trial prisoners and others. These appear to have been violated with impunity”.
“One gets dismayed to see such a state of affairs. The circular dated 30.05.2013 directed all the Principal and Additional District Judges to decide and dispose of all the cases of under trials where the charge sheets/ challans have been filed on or before 31.12.2010 by 31.12.2013”, Justice Hanjura said, adding “trial judges dealing with this case have not complied with the terms of these circulars. These have been followed in breach. This reflects a sad and sordid state of affairs”.
“The High Court has to evolve some mechanism to keep itself abreast of the work done by each judicial officer in light of the circulars on the subject. Without exerting the checks, balances and the control, these circulars will remain mere pieces of papers. The work of each judicial officer is required to be monitored by the High Court and the trial judges should be asked to spell out the reasons for not following these circulars both in vigor and rigor”, Justice Hanjura further said.
Stating that right to speedy trial is a fundamental right available to the accused, High Court said, “the fate of an accused cannot be kept hanging like that of a “Trishunka” on the absolute discretion of the trial judge. The cases relating to the under trial prisoners have to be treated and categorized as a priority sector litigation”.