New Delhi: Observing it was the duty of courts to ensure that perpetrators of crime are tried, the Supreme Court has declined to interfere with the trial against a Rajasthan trader in whose shop an explosion occurred in 2006 resulting in 14 deaths and injuries to many.
A bench of justices Aftab Alam and Ranjana Prakash Desai said delay of three years in obtaining the sanction for prosecution of the accused under the Arms Act cannot be a ground for quashing the trial against trader Deepak Khinchi.
"It is not the case of the appellant that sanction is granted by the authority, which is not competent. It is true that the proceedings are sought to be initiated under the said Act against the appellant after three years.
"But, in the facts of this case, where 14 innocent persons lost their lives and several persons were severely injured due to the blast which took place in the appellant`s shop, three years period cannot be termed as delay.
"It is also the duty of the court to see that perpetrators of crime are tried and convicted if offences are proved against them. We are not inclined to accept the specious argument advanced by learned counsel for the appellant that the lapse of three years has caused prejudice to the accused," Justice Ranjana writing the judgement said.
The apex court passed the judgement dismissing the appeal filed by Khinchi challenging the trial on the ground that it was started 3 years after the alleged incident as the state failed to obtain the necessary sanction as required under the Arms Act.
The prosecution alleged that on May 2, 2006 about 6.40 pm a fire broke out in the shop/store of the appellant situated at Gandhinagar Vistar Yojana in Chittorgarh in which 14 people including women and children perished, besides injuring several others.