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Report No. 198

5.12 Shambhu Nath Singh's case: (criminal trial on day to day basis (2001)

The Supreme Court stated in State of UP v. Shambhu Nath Singh 2001 (4) SCC 667 that section 309 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 requires that the criminal trial must proceed from day to day and should not be adjourned unless 'special' reasons are recorded by the Court. In that case, after several adjournments, PW1 was not examined even when present. The Supreme Court observed:

"If any Court finds that day to day examination of witnesses mandated by the legislature cannot be complied with due to the noncooperation of the accused or his counsel, the Court can adopt any of the measures indicated in the sub section, i.e. remanding the accused to custody or imposing costs on the party who wants such adjournments (the costs must be commensurate with loss suffered by the witnesses, including the expenses to attend the Court). Another option is, when the accused is absent and the witness is present to be examined, the Court can cancel his bail, if he is on bail."

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