Supreme Court: Deprecating the practice of depositions of material witnesses not being placed on record, the Bench of Abhay S Oka and Sanjay Karol, JJ has suggested that Sub-Rule 3 of Rule 5 of Order XX of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 be amended to insert the words ‘soft copy’ before the words ‘original records’, resulting in e-copies of the Original Records being requisitioned. The Court noted that this would facilitate a much quicker availability of such records to the court as also further a more environmentally conscious approach.
Apart from this, the Court also suggested that vide necessary amendment to the Rules such requisition of the soft copy of the record be extended to cases where leave is granted against an order of acquittal or conviction. Further, such soft copy of the records, once received be provided to the learned counsel appearing for the parties.
The Court provided the suggestions after observing that the practice of depositions of material witnesses not being placed on record often cause repeated adjournments, which goes to the root of pendency and delay in disposing of appeals.
A perusal of sub-Rules 2 & 3 of Rule 5 of Order XX of the Supreme Court Rules, 2013 shows that physical copies of the original records are to be called for, in criminal appeals involving sentence of life or the death penalty. In all other cases, the calling of such records is subject to specific orders of a Bench of Supreme Court.
[Sajeev v. State of Kerala, 2023 SCC OnLine SC 1470, decided on 09.11.2023]
Judgment Authored by Justice Sanjay Karol
Advocates who appeared in this case :
For Appellant(s) Mr. Renjith B. Marar, Adv. Ms. Lakshmi N. Kaimal, AOR Mr. Santhosh M Jose, Adv. Mr. Arun Poomulli, Adv. Mr. Vishnu Pazhanganat, Adv. Mr. Rajkumar P, Adv. Mr. Abhijith Sreekumar, Adv. Ms. Preetha S. Chandran, Adv. Mr. Davesh Kumar Sharma, Adv. Ms. Ashu Jain, Adv. Mr. R Basant, Sr. Adv. Mr. M Gireesh Kumar, Adv. Mr. Ankur Kulkarni, Adv. Mr. Vijay Kumar, AOR Mr. Gaurav Agrawal, AOR
For Respondent(s) Mr. Harshad V. Hameed, AOR Mr. Dileep Poolakkot, Adv. Mr. Subhash Chandran K.R., Adv. Mrs. Ashly Harshad, Adv.