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

Tripura High Court: S. Talapatra, J., relying on the Supreme Court decision in Azghar Khan v. State of U.P., 1981 Supp SCC 78, dismissed a criminal revision petition filed against the order of Additional Sessions Judge.

Genesis of the grievance was noted in a complaint filed by petitioner alleging that respondent stole the cheque in controversy which was dishonoured in due course. A case was registered and after investigation, the police submitted the report of terminating the investigation as there was no foundation for allegations made in the complaint. Petitioner challenged the report by filing a protest petition but Sub-Divisional Magistrate refused to direct further investigation. Being aggrieved, the petitioner preferred a criminal revision petition which was dismissed by Additional Sessions Judge observing that there was no ground to interfere in the report. This order was challenged in the present revision petition under Section 482 CrPC.

At the outset, the High Court observed, “By all traits, this is a second revision petition. On the face of it, it is barred by sub-section (3) of Section 397 CrPC.” Reliance was placed on Azghar Khan case which laid down that a second revision petition would not be competent in view of Section 397(3). Moreover, the High Court did not find any failure of justice which could persuade it to interfere in the matter. [Bikash Chandra v. State of Tripura, 2019 SCC OnLine Tri 40, dated 01-02-2019]