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SC orders Bihar court to conclude trial in 3 months

New Delhi, Jan 16 (PTI) The Supreme Court has ordered a local court in Patna to complete the trial within three months in the case of the shooting death of the head of a traders association in Bihta, in Bihar, in 2017.

A bench of Judges L Nageswara Rao and Hrishikesh Roy, who had earlier quashed bail granted by the Patna High Court to a defendant in the murder case, were left unsettled by the slow pace of the trial.

The Supreme Court has taken note of the statement by Barrister Smarhar Singh, representing Ajay Kumar, brother of the deceased trader, that the testimonies of all witnesses have been recorded and furthermore, the defendants have no witnesses to produce now in the case.

“We have been informed by the learned lawyer for the applicant that the testimony of prosecution witnesses was taken before 2019. Although time was requested to produce defense witnesses, the accused eventually informed the court that he did not had no witnesses.

“As the depositions of all witnesses have already been recorded, we order the trial court to complete the trial within three months from today,” the Supreme Court noted in its January 5 order. .

He ordered the Supreme Court Registry to forward the copy of his order to the Magistrate Court and uploaded the case on April 4 for access to the case development.

Earlier in August 2020, the Supreme Court overturned an order from the Patna High Court granting bail to Amit Kumar, one of the defendants in the case, saying the defendant’s criminal history should have been taken into account. account.

Nirbhay Singh, the chairman of the Bihta Traders Association and owner of the “Uday Chitra Mandir” cinema hall, was shot dead on September 15, 2017, allegedly by three assailants, including one Amit Kumar, who was accused of organizing a extortion racket at the local market.

When canceling the bail, the high court took note of the plea of ​​Ajay Kumar, the victim’s brother, and said that the high court did not take into account that the The main defendant, Amit Kumar, was a repeat offender facing several criminal cases and, moreover, the murder trial in the present case was at the end of its rope.

“Given the criminal history of Respondent No. 1 (Amit) and the fact that he committed an offense after his release on bail, we are of the opinion that the High Court should not have released the Respondent No. 1 The judgment of the High Court is set aside. The appeal is allowed accordingly,” the bench had said.

Usually, higher courts do not revoke bail granted to a defendant in a criminal case unless a serious fact, which could be detrimental to a fair trial, concerning the defendant comes to their attention.

The victim’s brother had appealed to the High Court against the High Court’s order granting bail to the accused.

The High Court had also granted bail to nine other defendants in the case.

Separate appeals have also been filed by the victim’s family challenging bail granted by the High Court on May 1, 2019 to two other defendants — Mohammad Shabir and Shankar Choudhary — in the case.

Subsequently, the Bihar government informed the highest court that Shabir’s bail had been cancelled.

Ajay Kumar has said the trial in his brother’s murder case is at the end of its rope in a Bihar Magistrate’s Court. PTI SJK SJK DV DV

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