Can a Stranger to Criminal Proceedings File Petition For Expediting Trial? SC Judgment

The Supreme Court, while setting aside the Order of Allahabad High Court has held that a person who is in no way connected to the initiation of a criminal case cannot file a Petition under Section 482 CrPC and seek expedited Trial.

This Judgment has been delivered in the challenge made to the Judgment and Order of Allahabad High Court expediting the trial of the Appellant in a case under Prevention of Corruption Act 1988.

In this case the vigilance department of the Government of U.P. started an inquiry in a complaint filed by one R.K Chaudhary. After several rounds of litigation before the High Court, the matter was given to the CBi for Investigation. After filng of the Charge Sheet, the Respondent No.2 (An Advocate) filed an Application under S. 482 Cr.P.C.  seeking direction to the Special Judge to expedite and conclude the Trial.

The Allahabad High Court disposed off the Petition by directing the Special Court to expedite the Trial.

Offences under Prevention of Corruption Act have to be conducted and Concluded at the earliest

The Supreme Court has observed that it is settled that the offences under the Prevention  of Corruption Act 1988 have to be conducted and concluded at the earliest, as the offence involved affects the entire society and administration.

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A Stranger to the Criminal Proceedings has no Locus to Maintain Petition for Expedited Trial

However the Supreme Court allowed the Appeal and set aside the Judgment of Allahabad HC by holding that a Stranger to the Criminal Proceedings has no Locus to Maintain Petition for Expedited Trial.

It was further observed that in the present case neither the State nor the employer has filed the application for expedited trial.

The Court referred to the Judgment of Janta Dal vs H.S Chowdhary (1993) 1 SCC 756, where it was held that it is for the parties to the criminal proceeding to challenge the proceedings at appropriate forum and not for the third party under the garb of PIL.

Title: Sanjay Tiwari vs State of U.P. and Others

Case No Criminal Appeal 869 of 2020

Coram: Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan, Hon’ble Justice M.R. Shah and Hon’ble Justice R. Shubhas Reddy

Date of Judgment: 16.12.2020

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