We hope measures will be taken to expedite criminal appeals of persons in custody: Orissa HC

The court was deciding criminal appeal of a convict who had filed appeal 17 years ago.

Orissa HC

The Orissa High Court, while delivering a judgment on December 16, raised concerns over delays in deciding appeals. A two-judge bench of Justices SK Mishra and Savitri Ratho recommended that the State of Orissa along with the High Court take some measure for expeditious disposal of Criminal Appeals where appellants are still in custody.

The bench was deciding an appeal filed by an accused charged with murder of his wife and it was argued by the appellant that the appeal was taken up after 17 years and 6 months of his arrest. The appellant thus pleaded that his life imprisonment be remitted to the period already undergone in prison.

The court observed, “As regarding the delay in disposal of the appeal is concerned, we are constraint to observe that because of things or matters not in the hands of the judiciary, the appeals are being taken up at a belated stage for which we consider all the stake holders including the judiciary responsible for the same. But at the same time we do not say that judiciary is alone responsible for delay in disposal of the cases”.

The court also stated that “We hope and trust that appropriate measures should be taken by the State of Odisha and the High Court of Orissa for expeditious disposal of the Criminal Appeals in which the appellants are still in custody.”

The Supreme Court is already apprised of the matter as bench of Justices L Nageswara Rao and S Ravindra Bhat directed High Courts of UP, Rajasthan,Madhya Pradesh, Patna, Rajasthan, Bombay and Orissa to submit their plan of action for deciding the criminal appeals that have been pending for a long time.

The complete order may be read here.




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