Trial court cannot be blamed for delay in trial: HC


Disposing of a petition that sought to quash a case pending before a special court for cases under Prevention of Corruption Act, the Madurai Bench of Madras High Court observed that no one could be blamed for delay in trial due to the COVID-19 situation. It can only be considered as an Act of God. The court directed the trial to be completed in six months.

The court was hearing the petition filed by P. Rajendran, an accused in a corruption case. He filed the petition seeking to quash the proceedings pending before special court in Tiruchi, for the second time. Earlier, the court in 2019 had disposed of his first petition with a direction to the trial court to complete the trial in one year.

Justice K. Murali Shankar observed that due to the COVID-19 lockdown, all the courts in the country were functioning virtually. But the virtual hearing was effective only for the final hearing cases and not for examination of witnesses, that too in cases relating to Vigilance and Anti Corruption where witnesses are being cross-examined at length.

Simply, because the trial was not completed as per the direction of the court, it cannot be said that the petitioner is entitled to take advantage of the same, the judge said.

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