Wednesday, 9 December 2015

When court should not frame charge against accused?

Learned counsel for the petitioner relied on Kishan Singh v. State of Rajasthan 1995 Cri LJ 3947 in which it was held that when there was no evidence except confessional statements of co-accused to show even prima facie involvement of an accused in activity of transport or possession of contraband, framing of charge under Section 29 of the NDPS Act against the accused was unjustified. Hon'ble Supreme Court in Satish Mehra v. Delhi Administration, 1996 SCC (Cri) 1104 has observed as follows :-
But when the Judge is fairly certain that there is no prospect of the case ending in conviction the valuable time of the Court should not be wasted for holding a trial only for the purpose of formally completing the procedure to pronounce the conclusion on a future date. Most of the Sessions Courts in India are under heavy pressure of workload. If the Sessions Judge is almost certain that the trial would only be an exercise in futility or a sheer waste of time it is advisable to truncate or snip the proceedings at the stage of Section 227 of the Code itself.
Rajasthan High Court
Pradeep Kumar Jain vs State Of Rajasthan on 23 February, 1999
Equivalent citations: 1999 CriLJ 3829, 1999 (3) WLC 455, 1999 (1) WLN 173
Bench: M Yamin


1. This is a revision against the order of learned Special Judge, NDPS Act Cases, Chittaurgarh passed on 25-9-1997 by which he framed charge against petitioner Pradeep Kumar Jain for offence under Section 8/29 of the NDPS Act.
2. I have heard the learned counsel for the petitioner as well as learned PP.
3. The case of the prosecution is that on 21-2-1997 Bus No. RJ-06-P-0555 was going from Chittaurgarh to Delhi. SHO of Police Station Chanderia checked it and found that 'Doda-Post' packed in four gunny bags weighing 104.800 gms. was being carried on the roof of the bus. The conductor and the driver of the bus informed that the goods belong to the passenger sitting on seat No. 19-20. Kalu was occupying those seats and admitted that the contraband belonged to him. He was taken in custody and was interrogated. On 23-2-1997 he informed that the contraband belonged to Pradeep Kumar Jain which was handed over to him to be carried to Delhi. These bags were handed over by Pradeep Kumar to Kalu at Mandsaur (M.P.). The learned Special Judge finding that since co-accused Kalu had led to the place in Mandsaur wherefrom the gunny bags were brought was a sufficient evidence to incriminate Pradeep Kumar Jain, framed charge against him.
4. Learned counsel for the petitioner submitted that the statement of co-accused Kalu cannot be read against the petitioner. He submitted that there was no iota of evidence against petitioner Pradeep Kumar and the order of learned Special Judge should be set aside.
5. On the other hand, learned PP has tried to support the order of learned Special Judge.
6. Learned counsel for the petitioner relied on Kishan Singh v. State of Rajasthan 1995 Cri LJ 3947 in which it was held that when there was no evidence except confessional statements of co-accused to show even prima facie involvement of an accused in activity of transport or possession of contraband, framing of charge under Section 29 of the NDPS Act against the accused was unjustified. Hon'ble Supreme Court in Satish Mehra v. Delhi Administration, 1996 SCC (Cri) 1104 has observed as follows :-
But when the Judge is fairly certain that there is no prospect of the case ending in conviction the valuable time of the Court should not be wasted for holding a trial only for the purpose of formally completing the procedure to pronounce the conclusion on a future date. Most of the Sessions Courts in India are under heavy pressure of workload. If the Sessions Judge is almost certain that the trial would only be an exercise in futility or a sheer waste of time it is advisable to truncate or snip the proceedings at the stage of Section 227 of the Code itself.
7. In view of above discussion when the evidence of co-accused cannot be read against the petitioner, it is a fit case in which the charge against petitioner Pradeep Kumar Jain should be quashed.
8. Consequently, the revision is hereby allowed and the charge framed against Pradeep Kumar Jain petitioner is quashed. Record of the case be sent back to the learned Special Judge, NDPS Act Cases, Chittaurgarh forthwith so that the trial of the co-accused may not be delayed.
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