SC irked as accused jailed for 11 years without framing of charges

New Delhi, Aug 30 (PTI):
“Convict him or acquit him,” an anguished Supreme Court observed on non-framing of charges on an accused jailed for 11 years over serial blasts in multiple Rajdhani Express and other trains in 1993.
Underlining the right to speedy trial, the top court sought a report from the special Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act court judge in Ajmer explaining why charges have not been framed against Hameer Ui Uddin.
“The Special Judge, Designated Court, Ajmer, Rajasthan is directed to submit a report to this Court within a period of two weeks from the date of receipt of a certified copy of this order The report shall clarify why charges have not been framed,” a bench of justices DY Chandrachud and M R Shah said.
In its order passed recently, the bench said that to facilitate the submission of the report expeditiously, the registrar (judicial) will communicate a copy of the order to the judge directly as well as through the Registrar (Judicial) of the High Court of Rajasthan.
During the hearing, advocate Shoeb Alam, appearing for Hameer Ui Uddin said the petitioner has been in custody since 2010 but charges have not been framed and trial is yet to commence.
He said that detaining an accused indefinitely without trial is a gross abuse of rights of an individual under Article 21. Alam contended that the special TADA court ought to have granted bail to the petitioner as there is no prospect of the conclusion of the trial in the near future.
“The allegations are yet to be proved in trial and there is no justification of pre-trial incarceration for 11 years,” he said. Advocate Vishal Meghwal, appearing for the State, admitted that that charges have not been framed against the accused, but contended he was absconding for nearly 15 years.
The bench then asked why the charges have not been framed when he has been in custody since 2010.

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