Accused may be kept in custody till evidence is over: Court

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 Kanimozhi
New Delhi, Nov 3: The victim and witnesses should feel secure to tell the truth and for that accused might be kept in custody till their evidence is complete, said a Delhi court today (Nov 3), dismissing the bail pleas of DMK MP Kanimozhi and seven other accused in the 2G case.

"If the witnesses do not gather courage to tell the truth before the court, the tripod (of accused, victim and witness) would break down and truth will not come out and cause of justice would suffer," said Special CBI Judge O P Saini while dismissing the bail pleas.

"One way of generating the sense of security in the mind of victim and the witnesses is to keep the accused in custody till their evidence is complete," he added.

He said the courts have to strike a balance between liberty and rights of accused and safety and security of the witnesses to ensure fair trial.

"In the given case, victim and witnesses may be from the same group or family or they may be totally unconnected as one may be victim or witness by a quirk of fate or just by unfortunate circumstances.

"Victims and witnesses cannot be left to their own fate while protecting the rights of the accused. They also must have a sense of security and safety and must have a feeling that no harm would come their way by just being witness in a case and disclosing the truth before the investigating agency and the court," the judge said.

Brushing aside the contentions of the 2G case accused that there is no apprehension of witnesses being influenced or evidences being tampered with, the court said witnesses would be "under a lot of pressure" in view of the "unprecedented nature" of this case.

The judge said, "Every criminal case is a dyad or triad constituted of accused, victim and witnesses... the rights of the accused are very important in our criminal jurisprudence and they are required to be protected under all circumstances...."

"There is no doubt that continued and unnecessary incarceration of an accused is violative of his rights. If an accused is required to be kept in custody during the trial, the reasons for the same must be valid, both in law and fact.

"Having said that, I may also record that the rights of victim and witnesses are also no less valuable and are required to be protected equally during the trial," the judge said.
The court observed that rights of accused, witnesses and victim should be protected fairly and over emphasis on any one may result in subversion of justice.

"Over emphasis on the rights of one or the other may result in subversion of justice. A proper and balanced view is the demand of the situation, keeping in view the facts and circumstances of the case," the court said.

PTI

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