Madhya Pradesh HC Orders Inquiry Against Public Prosecutor for Giving Up ‘Important’ Eye Witness In A Murder Trial

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The Madhya Pradesh High Court (Gwalior Bench) on Monday directed the Principal Secretary, Law and Legislative Affairs/District Magistrate, Bhind to conduct an inquiry against a Public Prosecutor who gave up an ‘important’ eye witness/father of the deceased in a murder trial. 

Facts

The Bench of Justice G. S. Ahluwalia has also directed the Public Prosecutor, Bhind to withdraw all the Sessions Trial involving offenses under Sections 302, 307, 376/POCSO Act and all other important matters from the said Public Prosecutor till the inquiry report was received. 

This order came from the Court while hearing a regular bail plea filed by a Murder accused on the ground that since four eyewitnesses have been examined and they have not supported the prosecution case, he shall be released on bail. 

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On October 5, 2021, the Co-ordinate Bench had expressed its surprise to note that the trial court had, in the instant case, given up two eyewitnesses namely Hariom and Sarnam Singh (father of the deceased who is an eye witness) on the request of the Public Prosecutor. 

Accordingly, the Public Prosecutor, named Sanjay Kumar Sharma was directed to submit his affidavit explaining the reason for giving up the said eyewitnesses. In his affidavit, he submitted that since Sarnam Singh (father of the deceased who is an eye witness) and Hariom were not supporting the prosecution case, therefore, to save precious time of the Court, these two witnesses were given up.

Observations by the Court

At the outset, the Court observed that it was nowhere mentioned in the affidavit that Hariom and Sarnam Singh had ever contacted him (Sanjay Kumar Sharma) to inform him that they would not support the prosecution case. Apart from this, the Court also observed that another witness had not supported the prosecution case, but the same witness was not given up by the Public Prosecutor by applying the same analogy. 

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The Court further observed that the way Sri Sanjay Kumar Sharma was knowing that these witnesses (Hariom and Sarnam Singh) would not support the prosecution case was also a mystery.

Thus, the court stated that it was clear that Shri Sanjay Kumar Sharma had arbitrarily given up Sarnam Singh who is the father of the deceased and an eye witness as well as Hariom. Even though the court refrained from stating anything further, it made one thing clear that Shri Sanjay Kuar Sharma had lost the confidence of the court.

Court’s Orders

The court directed the Public Prosecutor to immediately withdraw the file of this case from Shri Sanjay Kumar Sharma and directed him to conduct the trial himself. The Principal Secretary, Law and Legislative Affairs/District Magistrate, Bhind was directed to conduct an inquiry against Sanjay Kumar Sharma and decide as to whether his continuation on the post of APP is desirable or not (within 2 months). The court further ordered the Public Prosecutor to immediately file an application under Section 311 of Cr.P.C for seeking permission to examine Hariom and Sarnam Singh.

CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE JUDGMENT


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