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Shanti Bhushan

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transfer of case at fag end not maintainable = In order to substantiate the contention relating to bias, namely, the Presiding Judge would be influenced by his brother-in-law or even by his sister or Mr. P.K. Shahi to go against the interest of the appellant, Mr. Ram Jethmalani, learned senior counsel, placed some photographs taken on 13.01.2013 during the visit of Hon’ble the Chief Minister of Bihar Shri Nitish Kumar to the ancestral house of Shri P.K. Shahi along with the entire Shahi family at House No. 147 Village Angota Block, Nautan P.S., District Sivan. By showing these photographs, it is argued that there is a reasonable apprehension of real likelihood of bias on the part of the Presiding Judge. Apart from the relationship, as mentioned by the appellant, we were also shown the genealogical table. In our opinion, merely because some of the distantly related members were in the midst of the present Chief Minister, it cannot be presumed that the Presiding Judge would conclude against the appellant. Admittedly, the above criminal proceedings were heard by the very same Judge from November, 2011. After examination of witnesses and after hearing the arguments on both the sides, it is not clear how the appellant has such an apprehension at this stage. If the appellant really had any apprehension in his mind, this could have been raised at the earliest point of time and not after the conclusion of evidence and arguments, particularly, on the eve of pronouncement of judgment. As observed earlier, inconvenience, if any, can be set at right by granting further time for arguments. Accordingly, the claim of the appellant for transfer of the entire case from the file of the Special Judge to any other competent court cannot be entertained. We have already highlighted that the prosecution was initiated as early as in 1997 and after prolonged trial, the matter has reached final stage, namely, pronouncement of the decision. In our view, in a matter of this nature, it is not at all desirable to shift the case to some other court at the last hour.

 published in       http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/imgst.aspx?filename=40636   REPORTABLE IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA CRIMINAL APPELLATE JURISDICTION 1 CRIMINAL APPEAL NO.1166 OF 2013 (Arising out of S.L.P. (Crl.) No. 5513 of 2013) Lalu Prasad @ Lalu Prasad Yadav …. Appellant(s) Versus State of Jharkhand …. Respondent(s) 2 3     J U D G M E N … Continue reading

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