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Report No. 198

5.6 Francis v. Banka Bihau Singh (1958): (case transferred anticipating communal violence)

The preserving of a congenial atmosphere for the conduct of a fair trial has been viewed as imperative by the superior courts. If the atmosphere is surcharged with tension on account of the hostility between the parties, or within the community, it is bound to have impact on the fairness of the trial. The necessity for ensuring protection of witnesses assumes significance in this context as well. This case in Francis and the next one relating to Maneka Gandhi state that if there are serious local tensions which are likely to preclude a fair trial, the case can be transferred for trial to a distant place. These cases were followed recently in NHRC case also (see para 5.14).

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