Supreme Court requests Allahabad High Court Chief Justice to direct expeditious disposal of case where accused has been in custody for 14 years

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A Supreme Court bench headed by Chief Justice of India Justice NV Ramana today requested the Chief Justice of Allahabad High Court to direct expeditious trial of a case where the accused has been in custody for 14 years, awaiting conclusion of the trial.

The bench also consisting of Justices Krishna Murari and Hima Kohli further asked the High Court Chief Justice to direct the trial court to conclude the case in six months. The Top Court was hearing a plea for bail by an accused who has been in custody since last 14 years as his trial remains pending.

It is to be noted that the Supreme Court yesterday expressed shock at criminal appeals from the 1980s remaining pending at Allahabad High Court.

When the matter came up for hearing today, the counsel for the bail applicant informed the court that the matter has been in the arguments stage since last one year. When the CJI quizzed her as to what the problem is, she replied, “It was already argued but owing the transfer of the judge, the matter has to be reargued again. Therefore, I am seeking bail.”

The Top Court while expressing its displeasure over the pendency refused to grant bail to the accused, and instead requested the Allahabad High Court Chief Justice to pass the above-mentioned orders.

The counsel for the accused then requested the court to pass directions for earlier disposal considering the facts of the case. She said, “He has been in custody for 14 years now this is a case pertaining to a person’s liberty.” The bench, however, refused to grant such indulgence and passed the abovementioned directions.

Case Title: Dharmendra Pratap Singh Vs State of UP