The Bombay High Court on Monday asked the Esplanade magistrate court to explain why a cheating case has dragged on for more than a quarter century.
“The prosecution cannot be allowed to go on for such a long time,” said the division bench comprising Justice D B Bhosale and Justice A R Joshi, while hearing a petition seeking to quash the private complaint that has been pending for 26 years.
The petition was filed by two partners of a Mumbai-based export firm, Parikh Brothers.
The partners, Rajni and Niranjan Parikh argued that the unending prosecution has caused them much agony and humiliation.
Their lawyer, Manoj Bhat told the court the prosecution has carried on for 26 years, but a decision is still nowhere in sight.
He pointed out that the complainant, Navin Somaiya had initially named 10 people as accused and eight of them were subsequently discharged by the HC.
The Parikhs moved a discharge application in May last year. The magistrate has now set June 7, 2010, as the date for hearing the application despite earlier orders from the HC to expedite matters.
According to the petition, the Parikhs had sought a letter of credit from Bank of India, to export 8,000 tons of barley and the complainant Somaiya had stood guarantor for the transaction on the request of some bank officials.
The same bank officials began proceedings against the Parikhs and the firm owned by Somaiya, to recover dues amounting to Rs 41 lakh, after the Parikhs failed to complete the transaction.
Somaiya had filed a private complaint alleging cheating and forgery against the bank officials and the Parikhs.
The bank officials were later discharged by the HC.