SC seeks response from all states on a PIL seeking guidelines
Press Trust of India
New Delhi, 12 November
The Supreme Court today sought responses from all the states on a PIL seeking framing of guidelines for speedy probe and subsequent fast-track trials in cases involving influential public functionaries who manage to prolong the investigation and judicial processes.
A bench of Justices A K Patnaik and V Gopala Gowda, after considering a report of the Law Commission on fast-tracking trials involving influential persons, said apart from the Centre, it would also like to hear from all state governments.
The court, which issued notices to the states, has now listed the the PIL, filed in 2004 by lawyer V K Ohri, for hearing in January, next year.
Prashant Bhushan, appearing for Mr Ohri, referred to the report of the Law Commission and gave suggestions for speedy probe and the trial involving important public functionaries.
“The influential persons, who have committed gruesome crimes against the common man, have gone scot free due to the delay in process manipulated by them by virtue of their influence,” he said.
“The investigation of all criminal cases involving influential persons should be monitored by the DGP (head of the police) of the state/UT.
“There should be a fixed time period (maximum 3 months) for completion of the investigation.
“One police officer should be identified in every case who would be held responsible for delay in the investigation or failure in completing the investigation within the fixed time period,” he said, while referring to the suggestions mooted by Ohri. Referring to the Law Commission’s suggestions, he said, “A copy of the FIR concerning the involvement of influential public men in cognizable crimes, apart from being sent to the magistrate, should also be forwarded to SP/SSP concerned.”
On the issue of judicial proceedings, Mr Bhushan said, “The trial of all the ‘influential persons’ should be monitored by the designated judge of the high court concerned.
He also said that the hearing in the trial should not be adjourned for more than 7 days and evidence should be recorded on day-to-day basis as far as possible.
“When a person is declared a proclaimed offender, the court should seek report about such person’s arrest from time to time,” he said.