Criminal trials in Bihar are being conducted negligently, the Supreme Court has observed while directing the Patna High Court to initiate corrective measures.
The critical remarks over the functioning of state’s subordinate judiciary was made at the time when the SC bench headed by Justice Aftab Alam set aside a man’s conviction under murder case and held he was framed. Justice Alam has been a high court judge in Patna.
“It is our experience that in criminal trials in Bihar no proper attention is paid to the framing of charges and the examination of the accused under section 313 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, the two very important stages in a criminal trial,” the bench said in its verdict.
It added that the examination of accused were mostly done in the most “unmindful and mechanical manner.”
The bench directed the SC registry to send a copy of its judgment to the Patna HC and the state’s judicial academy.
With the directions the court acquitted murder convict Sajjan Sharma, sentenced to life by a Naugachia sessions court in Bhagalpur district. The Patna HC had upheld the conviction.
The apex court not only reversed the concurrent findings of the subordinate courts, it also declared that Sharma was falsely implicated in the case, despite having no role.
“We are constrained to say that this is not an isolated case but it is almost a stereotype,” added the bench. It said: “It is endemic that some other innocent persons or even the members of the family of the accused who might not be present at the time of commission of offence are also roped in and falsely implicated.”