The Delhi High Court ruled that it is the Duty of every Court to ensure that the fair and proper opportunities are granted to accused for just decision.
The present petition has been filed under Section 482 Cr.P.C. on behalf of the petitioner seeking setting aside of the orders passed by the ASJ, Tis Hazari Courts, Delhi, whereby the opportunity of the petitioner to cross-examine the witness Vinod Kumar Chauhan was closed and the application filed under Section 311 Cr.P.C. seeking recall of the said witness dismissed.
Advocate Inderpal Kokhar, appearing for the petitioner submitted that initially, both the father and the mother of the deceased were cited as prosecution witnesses. To safeguard the interest of the petitioner so that the prosecution witnesses may not improve upon their case, a request was made to the Trial Court for an opportunity to cross-examine both the witnesses on one day. However, the petitioner’s request was declined.
The single judge bench of Justice Manoj Kumar Ohri noted that the petitioner had initially sought to cross-examine both the parents of the deceased on one day, however the prosecution subsequently chose to drop the mother of the deceased, from the array of witnesses.
The court said that the petitioner in the present case had ample opportunity to cross-examine the aforesaid witness but he did not utilise the same. Be that as it may, the Court cannot lose sight of the fact that a fair trial is the hallmark of criminal procedure. It entails not only the rights of the victims but also the interest of the accused.
The court stated that it is the duty of every Court to ensure that fair and proper opportunities are granted to the accused for just decision of the case. Adducing evidence by the accused in support of his defence is also a valuable right and allowing the same is in the interest of justice.
The court added that the matter is fixed before the Trial Court for 25.02.2022. The Investigating Officer should take appropriate steps to summon the aforesaid witness, and for that purpose, the matter shall be listed before the Trial Court on 14.02.2022.
The court directed that in case the petitioner does not cross-examine the witness on the date fixed by the Trial Court and seeks an adjournment, his right to cross-examine the witness shall stand closed.
Case title: Krishan Kumar v/s The State (GNCT) of Delhi
Citation: CRL.M.C. 3422/2021 and CRL.M.A. 20081/2021