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Posted at: Mar 21, 2017, 1:42 AM; last updated: Mar 21, 2017, 1:42 AM (IST)

To reduce litigation, state plans to club similar cases

To reduce litigation, state plans to club similar cases
Atul Nanda, advocate general

Saurabh Malik

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 20

Inching towards expeditious disposal of cases, the Punjab Government has decided to approach the Punjab and Haryana High Court for taking up ‘batch-matters’ or similar cases on Saturdays.

The state has also decided to cut down unnecessary litigation and file an appeal only where legal issues of significance or magnitude are involved. Besides this, Advocate General Atul Nanda has been holding interactive sessions with the district attorneys for providing effective assistance to the subordinate courts.

Emphasis is also being laid on scientific methods of investigations for securing justice to the victims of offence or implication.

One of the first moves of the government is to identify similar cases, particularly in service matters, that can be decided by the Bench together. For the purpose, Nanda says he will be holding consultations with the Chief Justice and the Judges. The feasibility of taking up such cases on Saturdays will also be discussed, he added.

On dealing with criminal cases expeditiously, Nanda quotes the example of rape to say the investigation, more often than not, is over within 10 days. But the final investigation report or challan is presented on the 89th day to prevent the concession of default bail and that too without the forensic science laboratory report as the same is awaited.

The delay in conclusion of the trial is detrimental to the interest of the victim as the possibility of witnesses turning hostile over a period of time increases. The victim of implication, on the other hand, has to undergo life behind bars without conviction and social stigma till acquittal.

The AG office is working with the police and the home department for fast-tracking such reports. His assertion is significant as the High Court had already said: “Accused keep on languishing in jail due to non-receipt of FSL report by the investigating agency. This inordinate delay leads to violation of Article 21 of the Constitution”.

A HC judgment also says the police report in several drug cases is not presented within the statutory period or even during the extended period granted by the courts. The explanation offered is delay in receiving forensic reports.

Nanda adds that the district attorneys too are being further sensitised as one of the ways on cutting down litigation to provide justice at the very first instance. “This is the first time an AG is meeting district attorneys. The intention is to provide justice in the subordinate courts as cases will not culminate into appeals. In any case, not everyone can afford filing appeals,” he pointed out.

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