Saturday, August 14, 2010

HC rues misuse of judicial process to stall trial

HC rues misuse of judicial process to stall trial

TNN, Aug 13, 2010, 05.19am IST

NEW DELHI: For those hoping the recent money trail exposed in the run up to Commonwealth Games will result in swift punishment by the judiciary, here is a reality check by the Delhi high court.

In a sober assessment of judiciary's own capabilities to bring corrupt accused to book, HC has lamented how despite documentary evidence corruption often goes unpunished as accused misuse the judicial process.

"The judicial process is often used as a tool to see that even if there is documented proof of commission of crime the accused goes scot free because of multifarious levels of appeals, writs, revisions, 482 CrPC petitions and special leave petitions to which accused and petitioners have unlimited access under the present system,'' Justice S N Dhingra noted, on Thursday, while throwing out a petition filed by one Mohan Lal Jatia, accused of perjury by the Supreme Court.

"The real judicial reform can come in this country only when despite the strength of money power and political power one is not able to capture the judicial system and hold it to ransom on the strength of this power,'' Justice Dhingra bluntly noted in his judgement after realising that in the case at hand the man accused of submitting a false affidavit in SC in 1986 (where the registrar general of SC himself was the complainant) had managed to drag his case for so long at the magistrate level.

The present petition is a gross misuse of the judicial process. The accused persons have come a second time before HC assailing the procedure being adopted by the magistrate. The whole effort by the accused seems to be not to allow the trial to go any further, an anguished HC observed. The court was also pained to note how the complaint filed against the accused in 1994 was still at an initial stage in 2010. "For these 16 long years the trial has not proceeded an inch. Those who talk of judicial reforms must take note of such numerous cases pending in courts where judicial process is misused to see trials don't proceed further,'' the judge noted while dismissing Jatia's plea and fining him Rs 1 lakh.

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