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Thursday, May 7, 2009

RTI Query: Delhi HC Ignored Supreme Court Directive for 20 Years!

Publication: Times Of India Delhi; Date: May 7, 2009; Section: Times City; Page: 7

To sit or not to sit: HC notice out

Abhinav Garg | TNN

New Delhi: Caught napping by a public interest litigation (PIL) that exposed how even after more than 20 years of a Supreme Court directive, Delhi High Court has failed to change its rules that could have allowed accused to sit, rather than stand in trial courts, HC on Wednesday issued the notification.

In 1981, SC had directed all HC’s across the country to change the criminal manuals so that accused can sit while attending trial in courts. But it took a PIL by one Awadh Bihari Kaushik, filed earlier this week through lawyer R K Saini, to get HC administration moving. The PIL relies on an RTI plea filed in HC that revealed that no steps were taken all these years by HC to implement the SC order.

A division bench headed by Chief Justice was informed by the HC administration that a notification has been issued while the bench was hearing the PIL. HC then directed the government to publish the notification in the gazette. It will however, come to force after it is published in the official gazette.The notification says all judges should permit an accused to sit during trial proceedings, making an exception only when a judge approaches his seat to start proceedings.

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