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'Shocked' by 20-Year Delay, Supreme Court Transfers Murder Trial from UP to Delhi

The Supreme Court transferred the case, which has seen 55 adjournments so far, on a plea made by the victim's family, which submitted that there was no hope left to see the case conclude in their lifetime.

Utkarsh Anand | CNN-News18

Updated:September 24, 2018, 7:57 AM IST
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'Shocked' by 20-Year Delay, Supreme Court Transfers Murder Trial from UP to Delhi
The Supreme Court of India. (News18 Creative)
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court has transferred a murder trial from Meerut to New Delhi after expressing "shock" at its pendency for last 20 years during which the case witnessed more than 55 adjournments.

A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur took umbrage at the trial judge's inability to conclude the proceedings pending since 1999 and decided to shift the case outside Uttar Pradesh.

The bench said that a Sessions Judge in Delhi's Patiala House Court Complex shall now take up the matter.

"The matter has been pending for about 20 years at the stage of trial. Since the case has now been transferred to the Patiala House, New Delhi, we request the Trial Judge to try and expedite the disposal of the case," stated the order.

The Court transferred the case on a plea made by the victim's family, which submitted that there was no hope left to see the case conclude in their lifetime because of the extremely sluggish pace and the ability of the accused to keep getting adjournments.

"We are shocked that this trial has been pending since some time in 1999 when charges were framed. Arguments have been going on interminably since 2011. A submission has been made that as many as 55 adjournments have been taken in the matter," underscored the bench.

It then emphasised that there cannot be any justification to have a criminal trial pending for so long. "The proceedings certainly cannot go on in this manner. It appears to us that the learned Judge dealing with the case is finding it difficult to control the proceedings and that is why so many adjournments are granted and arguments are going on for so many years," lamented the Court.

It thus ordered that let the case be transferred from the Court of Additional Sessions Judge, Meerut, to the Sessions Judge in Patiala House, "who will dispose of the matter at the very earliest".

Two accused, Harendra and Surendra, are on trial for murder.

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| Edited by: Nitya Thirumalai
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