It’s ok if you can’t stand a trial, you can always sit through one: HC | delhi | Hindustan Times
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It’s ok if you can’t stand a trial, you can always sit through one: HC

If an accused is indeed innocent until proved guilty, why should he or she be punished by making him stand through a court proceeding when all others sit? Not any more.

delhi Updated: May 07, 2009 01:58 IST
Harish V Nair

If an accused is indeed innocent until proved guilty, why should he or she be punished by making him stand through a court proceeding when all others sit?

Not any more.

The Delhi High Court has issued a notification removing the rule after a public interest litigation (PIL) contended it “violated the fundamental rights of an accused”.

Soon, undertrials in courts across the Capital will be allowed to sit in courtrooms. The PIL filed by lawyers Avadh Bihari Kaushik and R K Saini was prompted by an incident where an undertrial who had been standing for hours together in the court collapsed and became unconscious during her cross-examination two years ago.

"The accused in a criminal trial shall be permitted to sit down during the trial unless it becomes necessary for the accused to stand up for any specific purpose such as identification", said the circular issued by Registrar General Ajit Bharihoke.

Saini reminded the court that the Delhi HC was yet to amend its rules despite the Supreme Court in Avtar Singh's case in 1981 directing all High Courts to make necessary provisions in their criminal manual allowing accused to sit in courts.

A Division Bench of Chief Justice A P Shah and Justice Neeraj Kishan Kaul on Wednesday directed the government to publish the notification in the gazette as early as possible.