Tribune News Service
New Delhi, September 17
Piqued over 78 adjournments given by a Dehradun court in a cheating case hanging fire since 2014, the Supreme Court has ordered completion of the trial in six months.
“We direct the trial court to ensure that the trial is concluded not later than six months from the date of receipt of the copy of this order,” a Bench led by Justice AM Khanwilkar said.
It directed the Investigating Officer to ensure that witnesses were made available on the scheduled dates for being examined by the trial court.
The top court also granted bail to the accused trio—Manish Verma, Sanjeev Verma and Neetu Verma—on conditions to be imposed by the trial court and asked them to extend full cooperation for early completion of the trial.
“We are required to issue this direction as we have noticed that the trial court, despite having taken cognizance almost seven years back, has not moved in the matter even an inch thereafter, including to frame charges, as may be necessary, despite 78 adjournments in the case,” the Bench said, adding if they don’t cooperate the trial court can consider cancelling their bail.
Needless to observe that the order of cancellation of bail of the private respondents will not come in their way and the trial must proceed on its own merits and in accordance with law, it said in its September 15 order.
The order came on an appeal filed by Dr Atul Krishna challenging an Uttarakhand High Court order dismissing his plea seeking early disposal of the case. Krishna contended it was beyond imagination that despite the passing of more than six years from the date of filing of chargesheet and taking of cognizance, even the charges had not been framed till date.
The FIR in question was registered in 2012 by Krishna at police station Jaani in Meerut district against the respondents for cheating, criminal breach of trust, forgery of valuable security, will, and forging documents/electronic records under the IPC at Meerut with regard to a land deal. Later, the case was transferred to Dehradun as major properties and documents mentioned in the FIR related to district Dehradun.
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