Criminal Trial against Lodha should be expedited
Kolkata, Aug 31 (UNI) An application was moved by complainant R P Pansari before the Calcutta High Court for expediting the trial against R S Lodha and the co-accused in the Alipore court, stating that they were seeking to delay the proceedings before the Trial Court.
Advocate General Balai Chandra Ray, appearing on behalf of the complainant, submitted befor justice S P Talukdar, that Late M P Birla and Priyamvada Birla had, during their lifetime, created five irrevocable mutual trusts in 1988, vesting their entire estate worth almost Rs 2400 crore to charity.
R S Lodha, who was a Chartered Accountant, a confidant and a person acting in fiduciary capacity for Priyamvada Birla, diverted the charitable assets to his personal kitty by a purported Will of 1999, said to have been executed by her, he contended.
Placing a list of dates before the court, Mr Ray submitted that the criminal case in Alipore Court alleging criminal breach of trust, cheating and conspiracy was filed in October, 2004.
An application for issuance of search warrant against the accused was also filed the same day and the accused were directed by the Chief Judicial Magistrate to appear and to show cause on November 29, 2004.
However, the accused failed to appear or file replies to the showcause notice in the Trial Court till March, 2006, and instead proceeded to file applications for quashing of the Trial Court order in the High Court and the Supreme Court, which were ultimately dismissed and on account of this, two years had been lost.
Stressing on the need for an expeditious trial against Lodha and others, Mr Ray said the attitude and steps taken by the accused so far clearly indicated that they were trying to stultify the proceedings.
Moreover, the laws of the country now provide that not only the accused but also the complainant is entitled to approach the court for expediting the trial, in case he feels that fair trial procedure is being abused.
The advanced age of many of the accused and witnesses in this case also demands speedy trial, as one of the accused has recently died, even before the trial could begin.
The Court has fixed further hearing of the application on September 4.
UNI XC SJC VD HT1942