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Report No. 161

6.6. Measures to complete trials involving high level politicians/public men, with utmost expedition.-

The Supreme Court observed in Vineet Narain's case in its order dated 7-10-96 [reported in 1996 (6) SCC 354] and also referred to in Vineet Narain's case, 1997 (7) SCALE 656 (667) that:

"the concerned court dealing with the above matters has to bear in mind that utmost expedition in the trial and its early conclusion is necessary for the ends of justice and credibility of the judicial process. Unless prevented by any dilatory tactics of the accused, all trials of this kind involving public men should be concluded most expeditiously, preferably within three months of commencement of the trial. This is also the requirement of speedy trial read into Article 21."

(emphasis supplied)

It is relevant to state that in "Common Cause", A Registered Society through its Director v. Union of India, 1996 (4) SCALE 127, paras. 3, 4 also it was emphasised to try such offences on priority basis. Thus, it was held:-

"4. Directions (1) and (2) hereinabove shall not apply to (a) cases of offences involving of corruption, misappropriation of public funds, whether under the Indian Penal Code, Prevention of Corruption Act or any other statute, (b) smuggling, foreign exchange violation offences relating to public servants

5. The criminal courts shall try the offences mentioned in para (4) above on a priority basis. The High Courts are requested to issue necessary directions in this behalf to all the criminal courts under their control and supervision."

Effective steps should be taken to give effect to the above observations of the Supreme Court.

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