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Friday, October 11, 2013

Under sec. 311. 233 of Cr. p.c. r/w evidence Act at fag end of trial = RAJESH TALWAR & ANR Vs. CBI & ANR published in judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=40869

   Under sec. 311. 233 of Cr. p.c. r/w evidence Act - No application for summoning witnesses and for summoning documents etc., at the fag end of the trial,  filed for dilatory tactics is to be allowed =
       
Apex court held that the application is vexatious and intended to only delay the proceedings as
      was also found by the trial Court and High court.

After considering the rival submissions on this point,  
we  find
      no merit in the contention on behalf  of  the  petitioners  that  they
      could not have approached this Court earlier.  
There is no reason  why
      the petitioners ought to have waited from 19.7.2013  to  17.9.2013  to
      approach this Court and allowed the trial to proceed even further.  -

     a.    Accused filed application dated 22.07.2013 in  Trial  Court  for
      adjournment to produce their defence witness.  They moved  application
      dated 06.8.2013 in  Trial  Court  for  direction  to  CBI  to  produce
      document, Tabulated chart etc.
      b.     Trial  Court  passed  order  dated  12.08.2013  rejecting   the
      application for supplying of tabular charts.
      c.    Accused moved application dated 02.09.2013  in  Trial  Court  to
      call PW-6 Dr.B.K.Mahapatra, CFSL, Bio Division, to file an affidavit.
      d.    Trial Court passed order dated 03.09.2013 rejecting  the  prayer
      to call upon Dr.B.K.Mahapatra to file affidavit.
      e.    Trial Court passed order dated 03.09.2013 directing the  accused
      to produce the defence witnesses from foreign   country  on  the  next
      date or through video conferencing.
      f.    Accused moved application dated 07.09.2013  for  adjournment  to
      produce defence witness from foreign country.
      g.    Accused moved application dated 12.09.2013 in Trial   Court  for
      exhibiting documents.
      h.    Accused moved application to recall Dr. B.K. Mahapatra  for  his
      further cross examination.
      ?i.    Seventh DW examined.


      j.    Accused filed another application  for  re-examination  of  DW-7
      (Dr.Andrei Semikhodskii).
      k.     Trial  Court  dismissed  the  aforesaid  application  for   re-
      examination  of  Dr.B.K.Mahapatra  and  posted  the  case  for   final
      arguments i.e stage of 233 Cr.P.C. is crossed.
           It may be pertinent to note that petitioners took 04  months  to
      produce 7 DWs after  the  closing  of  statement  u/s  313  Cr.PC.  On
      25.09.2013 case was  fixed  for  final  arguments  but  accused  moved
      applications u/s 233 Cr.PC.
      l.    Accused moved application U/s 233 Cr.P.C.  dated  26.09.2013  in
      Trial Court to send physical exhibit Khukri abroad for re-examination.


      m.     Trial  Court  passed  order  dated  28.09.2013  dismissing  the
      aforesaid application.
      n.    Accused moved application U/s 233 Cr.P.C.  dated  30.09.2013  in
      Trial Court to file disclosure statements of Krishna, Vijay Mandal and
      Rajkumar. Case adjourned to 1.10.2013 for objections and arguments  on
      the application. Petitioners moved another application U/s 233 Cr.P.C.
      dated 30.09.2013 in Trial Court for summoning witnesses of lOs of CBI,
      UP Police and private persons as defence witnesses. Case adjourned  to
      1.10.2013 for objections and arguments on the application.
      o.    On 1.10.2013, petitioners did not argue the applications and one
      lawyer informed the court that  their  counsel  is  ill  and  obtained
      adjournment.

   Thus,  from  the  afore-stated  facts,  it  is   evident   that
      petitioners have been adopting dilatory tactics on every  moment.  The
      impugned order was passed on 19.7.2013. This petition was filed  after
      about two months.


      12.   In view of the above, we are  of  the  considered  opinion  that
      facts and circumstances of the case do not warrant  any  interference.
      The  special leave petition is accordingly dismissed.

                                                         REPORTABLE




                        IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
                       CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION


                Special Leave Petition (Crl.) No.7966 of 2013


      Dr. Rajesh Talwar & Anr.                       … Petitioners




                                   Versus


      C.B.I. & Anr.                                  …Respondents








                                  O R D E R




      S.A BOBDE, J.




      1.    This special leave  petition  has  been  preferred  against  the
      impugned judgment  dated  19.7.2013,  passed  by  the  High  Court  of
      Judicature at Allahabad in Application under Section 482  No.20215  of
      2013 whereby the  petitioners’  prayer  for  documents  pertaining  to
      scientific tests made in their  application  405/Kha  dated  11.6.2013
      filed under Section 233  of  the  Code  of  Criminal  Procedure,  1973
      (hereinafter  referred  to  as  ‘Cr.PC’)  read  with  Section  91  was
      rejected.


      2.    The petitioners are being tried for charges  of  committing  the
      murder of their daughter Arushi and their domestic  helper  Hemraj  in
      their house. At the initial stage, the investigation was conducted  by
      the U.P. Police, however, it was  later  transferred  to  the  Central
      Bureau of Investigation (hereinafter referred to  as  the  ‘CBI’).   A
      closure report was submitted before the Magistrate who disagreed  with
      it and has issued the process to the petitioners  for  the  charge  of
      committing the double murder.


      3.    The present stage of the trial  is  that  the  evidence  of  the
      prosecution is closed and the statements  of  the  accused  are  being
      recorded under Section 313 Cr.PC.
The application in  question  under
      Section 311 for examining 7 other left over  witnesses  was  moved  at
      this stage.  
Alongwith this  application,  another  application  under
      Section 233 Cr.PC read with Section 91 has been moved on 11.6.2013, in
      respect of the reports of certain tests conducted on 3 persons who  at
      one time were suspected  accused  and  had  been  in  police  custody,
      namely, Krishna, Raj Kumar and Vijay Mandal.
By this application, the
      petitioners’ sought the following reports:

      (i) Narco-analysis test reports and CD of  Krishna  conducted  at  FSL
      Bangalore;
      (ii) Narco-analysis test reports and CD of Rajkumar conducted  at  FSL
      Bangalore;
      (iii) Narco-analysis test reports and CD of Vijay Mandal conducted  at
      FSL Bangalore;
      (iv) Brain mapping test of Rajkumar conducted at FSL Gandhinagar;
      (v) Brain mapping test of Krishna conducted at Bangalore;
      (vi) Brain mapping test of Vijay Mandal conducted at Bangalore;
      (vii) Lie detector, polygraph test reports of Krishna, Raj  Kumar  and
      Vijay  Mandal  conducted  at  CFSL  New  Delhi,  FSL  Bangalore,   FSL
      Gandhinagar;
      (viii) Psychological analysis test reports of Krishna, Raj  Kumar  and
      Vijay Mandal conducted at AIIMS, FSL Bangalore, FSL Gandhinagar.
      (ix) The Narco-analysis test, brain mapping test, polygraph  test  and
      the psychological tests done at AIIMS,  CFSL  New  Delhi  and  at  FSL
      Gandhinagar of the accused Dr. Rajesh Talwar and Mrs. Nupur Talwar.
      x) The written opinion / report and its annexures  and  other  related
      documents dated 31.7.2008 of the postmortem  doctors  i.e.  Dr.  Sunil
      Dohre and Dr. Naresh Raj regarding inspection and examination  of  the
      then murder weapon (Khukhri) sent to them by the CBI.

            In addition, applicants also asked for  call  records,  material
      forming the basis of report prepared by PW.6 and sound simulation test
      reports.


      4.    These applications were disposed of by the trial Court by  order
      dated 18.6.2013 allowing them partly.


      5.    Before the High Court, it was contended by the petitioners  that
      the said reports are essential for the defence since they  pertain  to
      those persons who were at one time suspected as being responsible  for
      the  offence  and  contain  exculpatory   statements   favouring   the
      petitioners.
 According  to  the  petitioners,  it   is   only   upon
      examination of the reports by the Court that the petitioners  will  be
      able to put up their plea that the  crime,  in  fact,  may  have  been
      committed by Krishna, Raj Kumar and  Vijay  Mandal  who  were  earlier
      suspected of the offence and had been interrogated.
 The  High  Court
      inter-alia rejected the petitioners’ prayer on  the  ground  that  the
      application is vexatious and intended to only delay the proceedings as
      was also found by the trial Court.


      6.    Before us, Shri U.U.  Lalit,  learned  Senior  counsel  for  the
      petitioners submitted that the production of the reports pertaining to
      the abovenamed 3  persons  is  absolutely  essential  and  relying  on
      Section 91 Cr.PC, submitted that the production of these reports being
      relevant, the prayer ought to have been allowed  by  the  High  Court.
     
According to Shri Lalit, the reports, if produced,  would  not  breach
      either Article 21 read with Article 20(3) which protects  the  accused
      from self-incrimination and/or would not be hit by Section 21  of  the
      Evidence Act since the persons in respect of whom those  reports  have
      been prepared are not accused anymore.
In any case, according to  the
      learned counsel, the reason given by the High Court that such  reports
      having been prepared on the basis of statements and data collected  in
      contravention of Article 20 are premature and  this  could  only  have
      been found after the reports were produced in courts.

      7.    Shri Siddharth Luthra, learned ASG vehemently opposed the prayer
      and submitted that the production of these  reports  is  pointless  in
      view of the law laid down by this Court in Selvi & Ors.  v.  State  of
      Karnataka (2010) 7 SCC 263,  wherein  such  reports  are  held  to  be
      inadmissible in evidence.  
The learned ASG further submitted that  the
      timing of the application and the stage at which it was  made  clearly
      shows that the applications are vexatious and intended  to  delay  the
      proceedings which are at  a  concluding  stage.   
In  support  of  his
      contention, Shri Luthra relied on sequence of events  which  according
      to him show that the petitioners have at every stage  tried  to  delay
      the proceedings by  making  one  application  after  the  other.  
The
      learned counsel further submitted that even the present special  leave
      petition is delayed in view of the fact that it is  preferred  on  the
      file on 18.9.2013 against the judgment of  the  Allahabad  High  Court
      which was passed on 19.7.2013.  The order of the trial Court  was,  in
      fact, passed on 18.6.2013.

      8.    Shri Lalit, learned Senior counsel for the petitioners submitted
      that the petitioners have been occupied in the  trial  and  could  not
      challenge the order of the High Court earlier.

      9.    After considering the rival submissions on this point,  we  find
      no merit in the contention on behalf  of  the  petitioners  that  they
      could not have approached this Court earlier.  There is no reason  why
      the petitioners ought to have waited from 19.7.2013  to  17.9.2013  to
      approach this Court and allowed the trial to proceed even further.  
We
      make this observation in the background of the observation of the High
      Court that even the initial applications were made at  a  stage  where
      the prosecution evidence  had  been  concluded  and  the  defence  had
      entered and almost concluded its evidence.
In fact,  the  petitioners
      had, without raising any objection  that  the  reports  and  documents
      allegedly proved by the witnesses have not been supplied  to  them  or
      made part of the Court record, participated  in  the  examination  and
      cross-examination of two  witnesses.   We  might  note  that  criminal
      courts are not obliged to accede to the request made by any  party  to
      entertain and allow application for additional evidence and  in  fact,
      are bound in terms of Section 233(3) Cr.PC. to refuse such request  if
      it appears that they are made in order to vex the proceedings or delay
      the same. It is also pertinent to mention here that the learned  Trial
      Judge who has been conducting the trial is likely to retire very soon.
      Relevant part of the Trial Court proceedings as well as Trial  Court’s
      orders thereto are given as under:

      a.    Accused filed application dated 22.07.2013 in  Trial  Court  for
      adjournment to produce their defence witness.  They moved  application
      dated 06.8.2013 in  Trial  Court  for  direction  to  CBI  to  produce
      document, Tabulated chart etc.
      b.     Trial  Court  passed  order  dated  12.08.2013  rejecting   the
      application for supplying of tabular charts.
      c.    Accused moved application dated 02.09.2013  in  Trial  Court  to
      call PW-6 Dr.B.K.Mahapatra, CFSL, Bio Division, to file an affidavit.
      d.    Trial Court passed order dated 03.09.2013 rejecting  the  prayer
      to call upon Dr.B.K.Mahapatra to file affidavit.
      e.    Trial Court passed order dated 03.09.2013 directing the  accused
      to produce the defence witnesses from foreign   country  on  the  next
      date or through video conferencing.
      f.    Accused moved application dated 07.09.2013  for  adjournment  to
      produce defence witness from foreign country.
      g.    Accused moved application dated 12.09.2013 in Trial   Court  for
      exhibiting documents.
      h.    Accused moved application to recall Dr. B.K. Mahapatra  for  his
      further cross examination.
      ?i.    Seventh DW examined.


      j.    Accused filed another application  for  re-examination  of  DW-7
      (Dr.Andrei Semikhodskii).
      k.     Trial  Court  dismissed  the  aforesaid  application  for   re-
      examination  of  Dr.B.K.Mahapatra  and  posted  the  case  for   final
      arguments i.e stage of 233 Cr.P.C. is crossed.
           It may be pertinent to note that petitioners took 04  months  to
      produce 7 DWs after  the  closing  of  statement  u/s  313  Cr.PC.  On
      25.09.2013 case was  fixed  for  final  arguments  but  accused  moved
      applications u/s 233 Cr.PC.
      l.    Accused moved application U/s 233 Cr.P.C.  dated  26.09.2013  in
      Trial Court to send physical exhibit Khukri abroad for re-examination.


      m.     Trial  Court  passed  order  dated  28.09.2013  dismissing  the
      aforesaid application.
      n.    Accused moved application U/s 233 Cr.P.C.  dated  30.09.2013  in
      Trial Court to file disclosure statements of Krishna, Vijay Mandal and
      Rajkumar. Case adjourned to 1.10.2013 for objections and arguments  on
      the application. Petitioners moved another application U/s 233 Cr.P.C.
      dated 30.09.2013 in Trial Court for summoning witnesses of lOs of CBI,
      UP Police and private persons as defence witnesses. Case adjourned  to
      1.10.2013 for objections and arguments on the application.
      o.    On 1.10.2013, petitioners did not argue the applications and one
      lawyer informed the court that  their  counsel  is  ill  and  obtained
      adjournment.

      10.   This Court in Selvi J. Jayalalithaa & Ors. v. State of Karnataka
      & Ors. (Writ Petition (Crl.) No.154 of  2013)  decided  on  30.9.2013,
      after referring to its earlier judgments in Smt. Triveniben  v.  State
      of Gujarat, AIR 1989 SC 1335; Zahira Habibullah Sheikh (5) v. State of
      Gujarat, AIR 2006 SC 1367; Capt.  Amarinder  Singh  v.  Parkash  Singh
      Badal & Ors., (2009) 6 SCC 260; Mohd. Hussain @ Julfikar Ali v.  State
      (Govt. of NCT of Delhi), AIR 2012 SC 750; and Natasha  Singh  v.  CBI,
      (2013) 5 SCC 741, dealt with the issue of fair trial observing:

                 
“Fair trial is the main object of criminal  procedure  and
              such fairness should not be hampered  or  threatened  in  any
              manner. 
Fair trial entails the interests of the accused,  the
              victim and of the society. 
Thus, fair trial must be  accorded
              to every accused in the spirit of  right to life and personal
              liberty and the accused must get a free and  fair,  just  and
              reasonable trial on the charge imputed in  a  criminal  case.
              Any breach or violation of public rights and duties adversely
              affects the community as a whole and it  becomes  harmful  to
              the society in general.  
In  all  circumstances,  the  courts
              have  a  duty  to   maintain   public   confidence   in   the
              administration of justice and such duty is to  vindicate  and
              uphold the ‘majesty of the law’ and the courts cannot turn  a
              blind eye to vexatious or oppressive conduct that  occurs  in
              relation to criminal proceedings.


                     
 Denial of a fair trial is as much injustice  to  the
              accused as is to the victim and the society.  
It  necessarily
              requires a trial before
 an impartial judge, 
a fair prosecutor
              and an atmosphere of judicial calm. 
Since the object  of  the
              trial is to mete out justice and to convict  the  guilty  and
              protect the innocent, the trial should be a  search  for  the
              truth  and  not  a  bout  over  technicalities  and  must  be
              conducted under such rules as will protect the  innocent  and
              punish the guilty. 
Justice   should  not  only  be  done  but
              should be seem to have been done. 
Therefore,  free  and  fair
              trial is a sine qua non of Article 21  of  the  Constitution.
              Right to get a fair trial is not  only  a  basic  fundamental
              right but a human right also. Therefore, any hindrance  in  a
              fair  trial  could  be  violative  of  Article  14   of   the
              Constitution.


                       xx         xx         xx          xx


                    Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human  Rights
              provides for the right to a fair trial what is  enshrined  in
              Article 21 of our Constitution.  Therefore, fair trial is the
              heart of criminal jurisprudence and, in a way,  an  important
              facet of a democratic polity and is governed by rule of  law.
              Denial of fair trial is crucifixion of human rights.”


      11.    Thus,  from  the  afore-stated  facts,  it  is   evident   that
      petitioners have been adopting dilatory tactics on every  moment.  The
      impugned order was passed on 19.7.2013. This petition was filed  after
      about two months.


      12.   In view of the above, we are  of  the  considered  opinion  that
      facts and circumstances of the case do not warrant  any  interference.
      The  special leave petition is accordingly dismissed.


                                         .........................………………..J.
                                                         (DR. B.S.  CHAUHAN)




                          .............………………………J.
                                                           (S.A.      BOBDE)


      New Delhi,
      October 8, 2013


      -----------------------
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