- Apprentice Lawyer
The Kerala High Court recently made some stern observations on investigating officers who failed to appear at the trial of the cases they had investigated, despite repeated summons (Ramakrishnan v. State of Kerala).
Characterising their absence as a ridicule of the justice system, a single-judge Bench of Justice VG Arun noted that these instances seemed to be on the rise and were delaying trials endlessly.
The Court was hearing an application from a case dating back to 2006. The application itself was moved before the High Court in 2013.
Because of the elapse of time between the date of the commencement of the trial, the filing of the application before the High Court and the disposal of the application moved, the High Court had directed the presiding magistrate to file a report on the status of the trial.
The magistrate informed the High Court that the only witness who remained to be examined was the investigating officer himself who was not appearing in court despite repeated summons and even a non-bailable warrant.
Expressing his displeasure, Justice Arun observed that instances like this prolonged the trial and stated that the issue was one that had to engage the attention of the Director General of Prosecution.
While dealing with the application it was faced with, the Court directed the Magistrate Court to complete trial within three months, considering that only one witness remained to be examined.
With this direction, the application was disposed.