Babri case: HC directs proof recording on daily basis

Last Updated: Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 18:37

Lucknow: The Allahabad High Court on Thursday
directed recording of evidence on a day-to-day basis by the
Rae Bareli trial court in the Babri Masjid demolition case,
rejecting a plea by a VHP leader.

Justices Shree Narain Shukla and Surendra Vikram Singh
Rathore of the Lucknow bench of the High Court gave the
direction while disposing of a writ petition by VHP leader
Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, who is among the eight accused in the
case.

Dalmiya, through his petition, had challenged the July 22
order of the district and sessions court, Rae Bareli, asking
the trial court to fix at least 10 days in a month for hearing
in the case.

Besides Dalmiya, the accused include BJP leaders L K
Advani, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti and Hindutva
activist Sadhvi Rithambara.

The division bench was of the view that this was a fit
case in which the court must exercise its inherent powers and
issue necessary direction to the trial court to ensure speedy
disposal of the matter.

The judges said, "When any prosecution witness is in
attendance in the court, then his examination-in-chief,
cross-examination or re-examination, if any, shall be
recorded by the trial court on day-to-day basis until its
conclusion."

Dalmiya had termed that the sessions court order as bad
in the eyes of law claiming that the judge did not have the
jurisdiction to give the direction.

He had contended that some of the defence lawyers were
coming from far off places and faced problems attending the
hearings in the court on the basis of the sessions court
order.

Justices Shukla and Rathore also directed, "The case
shall not be adjourned unless the witness himself is not in a
position to depose on any particular date or there is some
situation beyond the control of defence, which makes the
proceedings impossible.

"Such an adjournment shall not be granted without
recording the reasons in writing," the court said.

The court said, "It is hearby also directed that if any
counsel, representing the accused persons, has any difficulty
in attending the court on a particular date, then he shall
ensure handing over the brief to some other advocate, so that
the trial in this case may not be disturbed because of his
absence."

In their order, the judges said, "Whenever witnesses in
attendance are examined and cross-examined, then the next date
shall be fixed for the evidence of other witnesses, which
shall not be later than seven days from the date on which the
evidence of the last witness was concluded."

They said the CBI, which is prosecuting the case, should
ensure that on the date fixed for evidence, some prosecution
witness must remain present so that for want of witnesses, the
hearing was not adjourned.

The judges also observed that while fixing dates,
Saturdays should not be avoided.

They said the court`s registry should communicate
forthwith the order to the court concerned.
Vinay Katiyar (BJP) and VHP leaders Ashok Singhal and
Giriraj Kishore are also accused in the case.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, December 8, 2011 - 18:34
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