The Supreme Court has observed that expeditious disposal of criminal cases must never result in burying the cause of justice.

The bench comprising of Justice Uday Umesh Lalit, Justice Indu malhotra and Justice Krishna Murari who set aside the death penalty awarded to a rape an d murder acused in a trial that finished within 13 (Thirteen) days.

Brief facts

One of the acused named Anokhilal was awarded death penalty in March, 2013 for committing the murder oif the minor girl and also for committing carnal sex with her. The entire trail fini9shed within 13 days and Madhya Pradesh High Court has also upheld the decideison i.e. the death penalty in June, 2013.

After the conviction order the accused has filed its appeal in the apex court, Sidharth Luthra, Senior Advocate was appointed as amicus curiae by the trial court to appear on behalf of the accused and to defend him. 

In the judgement, the bench noted that the Amicus Curiae did not get sufficient time to go through even the basic documents nor the advantage of any discussion or interaction with the accused, and time to reflect over the matter. 

In the above case the Amicus Curiae was appointed on 19.02.2013, and on the same day the counsel was called upon to defend the accused at the stage of framing of charges. One can say the amicus curiae was not having sufficient time to even go through its basic documents, nor the advantage of having a meeting or any kind of interaction with the accused. 

Held

It is universally known that expeditious trial is required to be done in criminal cases. However, in pursuit for expeditious disposal the cause of justice must never be allowed to suffer or be sacrificed. 

Therefore, setting aside the judgments of conviction and orders of sentence passed by the trial court and by the High Court against the accused the bench directed de novo consideration of the case.

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