SC asks Allahabad HC Registrar General to file a response indicating how many Benches are normally available to take up pending appeals

Allahabad HC

ALLAHABAD: The Supreme Court of India observed the pendency of appeals in the Allahabad High Court and directed the Registrar General of the court to unburden it through the normal process by listing criminal appeals, especially when the appellants are undergoing life terms. The next hearing is on July 14

The apex court has also asked the Registrar General to file a response indicating how many Benches are normally available to take up pending appeals and whether there is any special mechanism for a listing appeals where a person has been convicted for a jail term of 10 years or less.

During a trial,  Bench headed by Justice U.U. Lalit also comprising Justices S.R. Bhat, P.S. Narasimha and Sudhanshu Dhulia, observed that one of the petitioners before it has completed three-and-a-half-year of actual imprisonment out of the seven years sentence, while another petitioner has undergone over eight-and-a-half-year out of the 10 years sentence and their appeals filed in 2019 are still pending in the High Court.

Supreme court also noted that the grievance raised before it is that applications preferred by the petitioners for relief under section 389 of the Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) are not getting listed before the High Court.

“We have seen similar kinds of situations arising in pending appeals in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Going by the facts presented in such matters, the appeals have been pending for a fairly large number of years,”

“We, therefore, take the instant case, as a test case and considering the importance of the matter, we add registrar general of the High Court of Judicature at Allahabad to array parties as respondent no.2. Issue notice, returnable on July 14, 2022,” the Bench said in its May 9 order.

The Supreme court directed the Registrar General to file response by July 11 indicating, “what is the normal process adopted by the registry of the High Court to list criminal appeals especially when the convicted appellants are undergoing a term sentence as against the life sentence.”

“Whether any preference is given to appeals where the person concerned is not released by virtue of relief under section 389 of the Code and is still undergoing sentence in a prison,.

It has also asked about number of appeals pending in different categories and whether any policy has been framed to have the appeals taken up in a systematic way at an early date.

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(MARCH – APRIL 2022)


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