Indolent approach of prosecution can’t be encouraged: HC

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Srinagar: Holding that indolent approach of prosecution cannot be encouraged, the J&K High Court has upheld trial court’s order, closing prosecution evidence in a ten-year-old case in north Kashmir’s Baramulla district.

The case (FIR No.139/2007) was registered in police station Pattan for commission of offences punishable under Sections 307, 394, 354, 201, 120-B and 34 RPC.

Prosecution evidence was closed on 11 May 2016. Subsequently, an application was filed by the State for calling the prosecution witnesses. However, the Court of Sessions Judge, Baramulla rejected the application on June 30 this year.

“Case has been registered in the year 2007. By now 10 years time has expired. Indolent approach of the prosecution in not producing the witnesses cannot be encouraged,’ a bench of Justice Mohammad Yaqoob Mir said, underling fair and speedy trial was a guaranteed right which cannot be allowed to be infringed.

“In case any delay or indolence would have been attributable to the accused, then definitely there could be no question of closing the prosecution evidence but when the prosecution itself has failed to exercise due care and caution in production of the witnesses, then, after closure of the prosecution evidence, it shall be impermissible to allow application filed by the prosecution under Section 540 Cr. P. C,” the court said, holding that the trial court has “correctly appreciated the submissions.”

“In keeping with the proceedings, as recorded from time to time, (the trial court) has rightly closed the prosecution evidence on 11 May 2016 and has also rightly dismissed the application as filed under Section 540 Cr. P. C vide order dated 30 June 2017.”

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