Case BriefsHigh Courts

Delhi High Court: In view of the failure of justice on account of lack of effective cross-examination of prosecution witnesses, Sanjeev Sachdeva, J. quashed the trial court’s order convicting and sentencing the accused (appellant) for offence punishable under Section 6 of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012.

The appellant had challenged the order of the trial court whereby he was convicted and sentenced under POCSO Act. He contended that the manner in which the trial was conducted showed that the principles of natural justice were violated and he was declined a fair opportunity of being defended.

The High Court found that some prosecution witnesses were not cross-examined and for others, there was very sketchy cross-examination. It was noted that the manner in which cross-examination was conducted on part of the accused by the amicus curiae appointed by the trial court clearly showed that he made no serious efforts to defend the accused. It was observed: “If the Amicus Curiae does not or is not in a position to effectively provide assistance to an accused, the Trial Court is obliged to correct the situation. Even the trial court failed to take any remedial steps. The manner in which the cross-examination has been conducted has clearly led to failure of justice.” Holding it to be a clear case of failure of justice, the Court quashed the impugned order and remanded the matter to the Court of Additional Sessions Judge for re-trial from the stage of cross-examination of prosecution witnesses.

Before departing with the case, the High Court recorded appreciation for the assistance rendered by Adit S. Pujari, Advocate appearing on behalf of Delhi High Court Legal Services Committee and also by Meenakshi Dahiya, Additional Public Prosecutor for the State. [Dev Kumar Yadav v. State (NCT of Delhi), 2019 SCC OnLine Del 8485, decided on 10-05-2019]

Case BriefsHigh Courts

Himachal Pradesh High Court: A Division Bench comprising of Sanjay Karol, ACJ and Ajay Mohan Goel, J. declared that studying in private school cannot be a ground to remove such category from the BPL list.

A letter petitioned to the Court has requested to delete those families whose children were studying in private schools from the list of BPL families.

To look into the matter the Court appointed Abhilasha Kaundal as amicus curiae and after going through the matter it was of the view that there was no such resolution as alleged by the petitioner passed by the respondent. Further names of certain families were excluded and included in the list of BPL category by the concerned authority strictly following the procedure enshrined in the relevant rules in this regard.

Accordingly, the matter was disposed of. [State of H.P. (BPL list matter), In re, 2017 SCC OnLine HP 1715, decided on 12-12-2017]