Friday, July 29, 2022

Notice to Bihar Govt in Judge Suspension Case; Action case for speedy judgment

New Delhi : The Supreme Court on Friday approved the hearing of the petition challenging the suspension of the judge by the Patna High Court. The judge concerned gave judgment in several cases in a single day, including a case under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act (POCSO). The Supreme Court has issued a notice to the Bihar state government in this matter.

On a petition filed by Additional District and Sessions Judge (ADJ) Shashikant Rai of Araria in Bihar, the High Court Justice U. U. Lalit and S. R. Bhat’s bench issued notice. In the petition, Rai claimed that he was convinced that the case against him was taken out of institutional bias as the case under ‘Poxon’ was completed in one day. In another case, he sentenced an accused to death after conducting a hearing in four days.

Justice Lalit recalled a case in 2019 where a person was sentenced to death in nine days. However, the Supreme Court set aside that order and sent the matter to the Sessions Court for fresh hearing. The bench said, “You don’t even give adequate notice to someone who is going to be sentenced to death, which would be a travesty of justice.”

Senior advocate Vikas Singh, who appeared for Rai, also said that Rai was denied promotion. He said that the ‘Poxon’ case related to the rape of a six-year-old girl was completed within a day and the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment. In this case, no appeal was sought from the accused again.

The judge informed that the three-judge bench of the Supreme Court is working on the broader question of what circumstances are being taken into consideration before imposing the death sentence. We are trying to prepare proper procedure in this case. At least you check the jail records, check with the concerned officer, a rational approach is required for such an assessment.

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